" Just about anything you could imagine doing is within an hour drive ," says Mayor Gary Becker's page on the city of Racine website. Now state investigators are apparently alleging that Becker imagined doing something illegal about a half hour north of Racine, in Milwaukee.
Becker was arrested Tuesday outside a Milwaukee County shopping mall. According to a press release from the Attorney General's office, Becker was booked at the Kenosha County Jail on charges including child enticement, possession of child pornography, exposing a child to harmful materials, attempted second degree sexual assault of a child, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and misconduct in public office. "We turned the investigation over to state DCI, said Racine Police Lieutenant Jim Dobbs, at a news conference, explaining how they received allegations about mayor Bary Becker a few weeks back. "They have done all the legwork on this investigation . . . and Mr. Becker was arrested yesterday." No formal charges have been issued at this point. The mayor was jailed in Kenosha on the request of authorities in Racine authorities.
"My first reaction was stunned silence," said Racine Alderman Greg Helding, who an early morning phone call from Council President David Maack."Obviously it's an ongoing investigation and things will play out as they play out, but my initial reaction is just one of shock."
Council President David Maack said the city administrator continues to run day-to-day operations. "We do have a competent full time staff in place, so we'll be able to work through this," said Maack. "I think for all of us, there was shock last night, and we just need to sit down and assess the big picture."
Becker is a Racine native and former two-term alderman who was elected in April 2003 as mayor and reelected in 2007, when he ran unopposed.