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Just the facts: Bill Gardner

Mr. Gardner was charged with asking his employees to contribute tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions, for which he then reimbursed them. This allowed Mr. Gardner to illegally funnel $43,000 to the Friends of Scott Walker. Wisconsin State Law states that the maximum donation allowed is $10,000 and that corporate contributions are prohibited.

In April 2010, Mr. Gardner met personally with Scott Walker and afterwards sent an e-mail saying "Keep up the good work and I will do everything I can do to get you in the Governor’s Mansion." Mr. Gardner also made it clear that his company operates hundreds of miles of state-owned track.

The state Government Accountability Board fined Mr. Gardner and the Wisconsin & Southern $166,900, a state record. Seven of Mr. Gardner's employees were fined $250 each.

Under a plea deal, Mr. Gardner was convicted of the largest campaign finance violation in Wisconsin history.

Read the official criminal complaint.