Gov. Tony Evers has granted another 17 pardons, bringing his total number of pardons to 174.
The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board heard from applicants virtually. Information about the applicants whom the Board recommended for pardons was forwarded to Evers for final consideration. On Friday, Evers said he was glad to continue the process of listening to people’s stories and giving those who have worked hard a second chance.
The following people received pardons:
- Carol Matthews was in her mid-20s, raising a child alone and working at a cleaning company, when she failed to report her income while receiving government assistance. A longtime caregiver of people with disabilities, she earned her CNA and works independently in Milwaukee.
- Anton House was in his late teens when he was twice found in possession of an illegal substance. He has since earned his bachelor of arts, master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees and uses his education as a lecturer at Howard University and to mentor youth in Bowie, Maryland, where he resides.
- Richard Dziondziakowski was in his late teens in the 1960s when he illegally entered two service stations and stole cigarettes. Now retired in Oak Creek from a career in masonry and construction, his pardon will help him on his path to becoming a U.S. citizen, one of his lifelong goals.
- Eric Lonsdale was in his mid-20s when he was caught growing cannabis. He is now an active community member in Fort Atkinson, where he lives with his family.
- Dirmitrius Jackson was in his early 20s when he was caught in possession of illegal substances. He lives in Kenosha with his family and is hopeful his pardon will help advance his career.
- Edward Lantvit was 36 years old when he was caught trying to buy an illegal substance. More than three decades later, he is now a small businessman and real estate appraiser with his son. He lives in Fremont and is a proud grandfather to 14 grandchildren.
- Malcolm Wilson was in his early 30s when he failed to report income while receiving government assistance and FoodShare. He has since earned an associate’s degree and has been a lifelong resident and employee of the city of Milwaukee.
- Sondra Gorham was struggling with a substance use disorder in her mid-20s when she was caught in possession of illegal substances and driving under the influence. She has achieved her 10th year of sobriety with her family in Neenah and is pursuing higher education.
- Christopher Walters was 27 years old when he was caught in possession of illegal substances. A U.S. Navy veteran, he lives with his family and owns and operates a business in Poncha Springs, Colorado.
- Joede Polezynski was just 19 years old when she was caught in possession of an illegal substance. More than 15 years later, she hopes a pardon will help her pursue a career in banking. She resides in Milwaukee.
- Sandra Vessel-Swanigan was around 20 years old in the late 1970s when she failed to disclose her employment when applying for government assistance. Over four decades later, she lives and works in Milwaukee.
- Jason Alston was 20 when he was twice found in possession of illegal substances. He has since found his passion in the culinary field and is now the owner and operator of a well-respected restaurant, as well as a minister at a church where he resides in Milwaukee.
- Preston Jackson Jr. was caring for his father when he was caught in possession of an illegal substance. A military veteran, he served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield and now works for the Veterans Affairs in Milwaukee.
- Nikki Thiel was involved in the sale of an illegal substance at age of 20. She hopes a pardon will help her be able to volunteer at her son’s school. She now co-owns a family business in Oregon.
- Shannon Sweeney-Walker was in her early 20s when illegal substances were found in her residence. She has since earned her associate’s degree in accounting and lives in Racine where she is an active member of her community.
- James Harris was 17 years old when he was caught in possession of an illegal substance. Almost two decades later, he is a successful small business owner in Milwaukee, where he resides with his family.
- Tamara Love was only 19 years old when she sold a small amount of an illegal substance to an undercover officer. Almost 30 years later, she is a licensed practical nurse and runs her own state licensed adult family home in Milwaukee.
The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board will continue to meet virtually every month and will be reconvening again on April 9. That hearing will air on WisEye.Org/Live from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.