Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Rewarded With Hefty Pay Raise


The Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison has been visited nearly daily for over two years by protesters who oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) administration. Capitol Police chief Dave Erwin and his top deputy have overseen scores of arrests at these protests, and Walker’s administration recently rewarded both with major pay raises that skirted salary limits, the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel reported Saturday.

Chief Dave Erwin and Deputy Police Chief Dan Blackdeerwas were moved to “phantom jobs” for two weeks and back to their original positions in a legal maneuver that circumnvented civil service salary limits, the Journal-Sentinel found. Erwin’s salary was raised $11,680  or 11.7%, to $111,067 a year, which was the same rate as his predecessor. Blackdeerwas’ salary was raised 14.6%, to $96,048, on June 16, the paper reported.

Erwin was transfered to a post in the state Department of Administration, according to a copy of the transfer letter obtained by the Journal-Sentinel, and on the same day was assigned back to his position as head of the Capitol Police force, freeing Erwin from prior salary restrictions.

Walker’s staff told the Journal-Sentinal that the governor had no hand in authorizing Erwin’s salary increase.


Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.