Mayor Paul Soglin on Tuesday said that state Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) owes an apology to city employees for suggesting that a disorderly conduct charge against him was politically motivated.
"Hulsey suggested that perhaps his support of my opponent in the last election was the motivator," Soglin wrote in a statement. "Tens of thousands of Madisonians supported Dave Cieslewicz. There is nothing unusual about Mr. Hulsey -- he neither merits nor deserves special treatment."
Hulsey pled no contest in mid-August to charges that on July 4 he flipped a nine-year-old boy off his flotation device at Spring Harbor Beach. Police reports indicate Hulsey also upset the boy and his family by appearing to take pictures of the boy from the beach.
Hulsey says he scared the boy while in the water, but did not knock him off the flotation device. And he said he was taking pictures of the sunset.
Soglin pokes holes in that claim: "It should be noted that when one views Lake Mendota from the site in question during the late afternoon or early evening, the sun is not over any portion of the lake but behind the viewer's left shoulder."
The mayor also clarifies that while Parks Superintendent Kevin Briski did not have any previous written reports on Hulsey, one lifeguard mentioned to Briski in 2008 that he was uncomfortable with Hulsey's presence at the beach. But, as Briski has explained to Isthmus, the lifeguard lacked specifics.
"It was just a general feeling," said Briski.
Hulsey, who couldn't be immediately reached for comment, called later to say his full attention was on his son, who is having surgery Thursday. "My focus is on him and his surgery," he said.
[Editor's note: This story was updated to include comments from Hulsey.]