It took a jury about three hours to return a guilty verdict against Mike Pieper following a week-long trial in North Lee County District Court. Pieper was charged with felonious misconduct in office during his time as chairman of the Green Bay Levee and Drainage District.
Pieper is accused of changing the minutes of the June 28, 2012 meeting of the drainage district’s oversight board.
According to court records, the drainage district awarded a contract in 2011 to a company owned by Pieper, who was chairman at the time, for levee restoration work.
In June 2012, fellow board member Mike Walker informed the board that he found dirt from an unauthorized borrow site had been used in the restoration. The value of the dirt in question was estimated at the time to be about $93,000.
The drainage district board met on June 28, 2012, a couple days after Walker’s email alerting the board to his concerns. Following the meeting, the board’s clerk sent the minutes of the meeting to Pieper for review.
Lee County Attorney Mike Short said Pieper added to the minutes that a motion was made during the meeting giving himself or his company permission to use the dirt from the property in question. Short said there is video evidence that such a motion was not made.
Short said Pieper’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2017. He faces up to five years in prison.
Pieper was initially charged with theft as well, for taking the dirt, but that charge was dropped because the statute of limitations expired.