Black Leaders and the Demise of the OIC
Report; Posted on: 2005-04-05 23:15:56

Anti-White officials in Milwaukee enriched themselves; Social Service agency destroyed.

by Jay White

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – "A death in the family" proclaimed one Black columnist when referring to the announcement by the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Greater Milwaukee (OIC-GM) that its services were closing. OIC-GM was Milwaukee's premiere Black social services agency, but a web of corruption and fraud involving its past executives ruined the private firm. Tellingly, the mastermind of the whole scheme was Black community advocate, former Wisconsin state senator, and incarcerated felon, Gary George (pictured).

OIC-GM was the largest service agency for Wisconsin Works (W-2), the state's welfare "reform" system. Spearheaded by former Governor Tommy Thompson and implemented in 1997, W-2 was one of a select group of providers through which clients of the flawed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) entitlement package could be made less dependent. The objective of W-2 was to counsel dependent citizens and direct them to the resources they needed to become self-sufficient, productive, and employed members of society. State and federal tax dollars were paid to private contractors, such as OIC-GM, to find job placement and training for clients.

For the first four years of W-2, a no-strings-attached profit incentive was included to encourage bids from private sector firms. At times, OIC-GM managed over 40% of W-2's caseload, reaping $250 million in contracts from 1997 to 2004 -- $6.4 million from unrestricted profits.

The city of Milwaukee is suffering tremendously from Black inefficiency, and many of its non-White residents receive government subsidy. W-2 became another link in the welfare chain.

W-2 clients --70 to 80 percent-- live in Milwaukee County, where over half of the inner city's Black males of working age are either unemployed or have simply dropped out of the labor force.(1) In an April 2004 report, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Economic Development labeled astronomically high Black unemployment rates a "stealth depression." Citing statistics from a 2002 study, the development center revealed, "58.8 percent of working-age African American males in the city of Milwaukee were jobless, by far the highest rate of joblessness found in any of the cities surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics."(2) And inner city violent crime reached such a crisis level that it was labeled a "demon" that plagued Milwaukee’s population.(3)

But several Black leaders, and an apparently Jewish lawyer, used OIC-GM as a cash cow, siphoning off money for themselves while the city’s Black community looked to them for leadership. Investigations into the money trail all led to Gary George, who still maintains he is the victim of "racist" prosecutors and journalists who (he alleges) would have given him a free pass had he been White.(4) Anti-White hatred is an integral part of George's "defense" against the charges brought against him as he continually invoked "racism" at every opportunity.

Gary George is a former Democratic Wisconsin state senator from Milwaukee who is currently serving a four-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to commit fraud, estimated to have lined his pockets with as much as $900,000 in OIC-GM funds.(5)

When W-2 was created in 1997, George and his lawyer, Mark Sostarich, immediately invented a "kickback" scheme -- insisting that former OIC-GM president and CEO Carl Gee use the organization’s checkbook to retain Sostarich. 80% of that retainer, as well as 50% of other legal fees, would find its way back to George. During his career in the senate, George used his position to land OIC-GM a total of $230 million in W-2 contracts. Gee was ultimately convicted on federal charges and is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for his participation in the affair.(6)

A lawyer for Sostarich, George's legal counsel and partner in crime, excused the practices of his client, referring to his conduct as an acceptable practice known as "fee-splitting" -- a strategy that is not uncommon among attorneys who are trying to establish themselves. Sostarich split fees with George as he was innocently "trying to build a reputation in the black community," and avoided serious punishment by testifying against George later.(7)

In order to escape incarceration, Sostarich pled guilty to a different corruption scheme that defrauded Milwaukee's Police Athletic League (PAL). PAL, a facility conceived to benefit Black youths in some of Milwaukee's worst inner-city neighborhoods, is facing bankruptcy due to illegalities committed by George and Sostarich.(8) On March 11, Sostarich was sentenced to a shockingly light three years probation.

State auditors, while investigating OIC-GM, discovered that two of Gary George's brothers were on the organization's payroll and were looting reservoirs of cash. In keeping the corruption "in the family," Michael George earned as much as $150 an hour in exchange for consulting work he performed from 1997-2002. Mark George, the other brother in the Black familial network, received checks totaling $32,414 for installing and upgrading the OIC-GM's phone system -- a job which lasted from September 1997 to April 1998. Mark George also commanded $75 per hour for working as a consultant, and in 1999 and 2000, while acting as store manager for a separate OIC-GM subsidiary, A-1 Cellular Communications, netted $54,000.(9) As more evidence of George’s "family values" emerged it was learned that his scheming funneled over $100,000 to a Virgin Islands-based television station the George family controlled.(10)

Gary George's crime ring didn't exclude local politicians from the scam, as local officials are often bribed to look the other way. Lee Holloway, chairman of the Milwaukee County Board, became entangled in the fiasco when, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "OIC and its affiliates paid Holloway's firm $165,000 for a building that never changed hands. Holloway also didn't report the building on his annual ethics statements and continued to vote on county contracts and grants for OIC…"(11)

The Journal-Sentinel covered the story in depth and publicized many acts of lawlessness. Their investigative journalists uncovered further misappropriations involving the Bowles Construction Company. "Learning Opportunities Center applied in November 1994 for a city permit to occupy the building, at 2100 W. Atkinson Ave. Another OIC entity, Inner City Redevelopment Corp., planned to hire Bowles Construction Services to prepare the building, city records show... The Learning Opportunities Center's board has included ousted former OIC President Carl Gee and Mike McGee, a radio talk show host and former Milwaukee alderman... The Holloways continued to hold title and transferred their ownership of that and other properties into a family trust, property records show."(12)

John Bowles, a.k.a. "Businessman A" in George’s federal indictment, is a Milwaukee contractor and business executive who, in exchange for $800,000 in government contracts, leveraged by then-Senator Gary George, paid $100,000 to a Virgin Islands television station that had ties to the former senator. The Bowles' family business, unfortunately, had been honored as an exemplary minority-owned contractor, and John Bowles was distinguished as a "champion for other minority-owned businesses."

Corruption and fraud, however, wasn't limited to just one Bowles construction company. While investigating the depth of the deception of OIC-GM, the Journal-Sentinel reported, "In 1997, the state Department of Transportation paid one of Bowles' companies, Milwaukee First Inc., more than $300,000 to help minority-run businesses compete for construction contracts. Critics attacked the arrangement after Bowles awarded subcontracts to businesses run by his relatives, including his wife, Jacqueline Moore, and his brother, Richard."(13) The same article noted that Bowles was not part of the OIC-GM scandal, but was scheduled to do some work for OIC-affiliate Inner City Redevelopment Corp., as mentioned above in Lee Holloway’s profile. Central City Construction, which Bowles also owns, was the main contractor for the Police Athletic League project that George and Sostarich defrauded.

OIC-GM stretched far beyond the boundaries of Milwaukee's borders, and attempted to venture into overseas markets through African immigrants living in America. Nigerian national Cordelia Ekwueme planned a cell-phone racket while serving as OIC's chief financial officer. According to court records, Ekwueme purchased 545 cell phones with OIC-GM funds for shipment to Nigeria just before leaving office.

"A naturalized American citizen, Ekwueme was born in Nigeria but came to the U.S. about 20 years ago, according to her testimony at [Carl] Gee's trial. She was hired by OIC in 1997 after having worked as administrator of the unclaimed property program of Washington, D.C."

"Her salary at OIC was $151,278, according to information OIC provided to state auditors in September, making her one of its highest-paid employees."(14)

Race, or more specifically anti-White hatred, was a consistent theme throughout OIC-GM's heist of taxpayer funds – an ever present shield to ward off criticism from European-Americans. And the seeds of this anti-White hatred were sown long ago.

Michael McGee, a former Milwaukee alderman and a founding father of the New Black Panther Party drew considerable attention as a highly inflammatory radio talk show host at the pro-Black Milwaukee station, WNOV-AM (860). Over his career, he received approximately $275,000 from OIC-GM. Of those funds, auditors questioned $98,650 that WNOV received when learning that one of the radio shows was co-hosted by an unnamed OIC-GM administrator. McGee complained that White racism was the motivating factor for state officials who diligently investigated Milwaukee's Black leadership.(15)

McGee’s son, Mike McGee Jr. has followed in his father's footsteps, and currently holds the office of Milwaukee city alderman. The youngest McGee has adopted much of his father’s volatile and suspicious nature, propensity to use foul and threatening language in public, and clearly harbors the same sorts of militantly anti-White views.(16)

After serving only five months of his four-year prison sentence, Gary George is now arguing for early release. In a letter sent to federal Judge Rudolph Randa, George joked that he needs to be home to keep his four children out of trouble, and then seriously explained the reason why he initially pled guilty to the conspiracy charges. "I sought to minimize the damage to all by avoiding a trial where race would surely be an issue."(17)

George indicated to Judge Randa that investigations into OIC-GM and all of its dealings had, "...done a great deal of damage to Milwaukee's black community," citing the names of two high-profile Black leaders who George feels have been unfairly victimized: Lee Holloway and Marvin Pratt.

The OIC-GM scandal is a stark illustration of the consequences of giving Third World peoples power over a First World city, and also illustrates what happens when dishonest leaders forsake those they serve for the path of self-enrichment; leaders who forget that the cause they espouse isn't for their own gain, but rather for "the people on the other side of the wall."(18)

Interested readers may visit the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s on-line archive of all OIC-related stories.


  • Milwaukee: Black Democrats Vandalize Vehicles to Prevent Republicans from Voting (2005-02-21 01:30:41)
  • Correction: Milwaukee Has Lost Its White Majority (2004-05-18 11:35:06)
  • Which Way, Milwaukee? (2004-04-20 16:01:58)

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