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Railroad CEO pleads guilty to illegal donations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin railroad magnate has pleaded guilty to making illegal political contributions.

Prosecutors charged Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. Chief Executive William Gardner last month with one count of excessive political contributions and one count of unlawful political contribution, both felonies.

They accused him of asking his employees to make tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions, including donations to Gov. Scott Walker, and then reimbursing his workers.

Gardner struck a plea deal calling for him to plead guilty to both counts in exchange for prosecutors’ recommendation that he serve two years on probation.

His sentencing has been set for July 7 in Washington County.

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