TEApublican Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin was not pleased that he ended up sharing the spotlight with a registered sex offender during his State of the State speech. Chris Barber, 32, has a record that includes two felonies and three drunk driving convictions.
Barber, who recently was hired as a welder, was one of thirteen people on stage with Walker as he spoke. “Every time we help someone find a job, it makes for a strong home, a stronger community, and a stronger state,” Walker said.
When asked about how it all came about, Walker said, “Obviously it’s frustrating.”
Walker said he and his staff thought that Barber’s employer, Ariens Co. in Brillion, had done a background check when in fact they had not. The spokesperson for Ariens Co., Ann Stilp, issued a statement saying that the company recommended Barber for the event because he had been unemployed before coming to work for Ariens.
“We recommended him because he demonstrated initiative in turning seasonal employment into full-time employment and used training to advance to a welder position within the company,” Stilp said in a prepared statement. “We did this based on his job performance as an employee since December of 2012. As part of recommending him for the speech, we did not know the details of his record.”
Stilp said Ariens’ hiring practices are now under review.
For the record, it took this reporter less than ten seconds to find Chris Barber online. Here are a few of his charming Facebook posts:
Watch a local new report on the story below: