Former Ho-Chunk legislator sentenced for bribery

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former Ho-Chunk Nation legislator has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for bribery.

Prosecutors say Clarence Pettibone had extensive knowledge of a bribery scheme involving contracts awarded by the Ho-Chunk Nation that ran from 2002 to 2009. They said the overall scheme took in $3 million. Among other things, he was accused of supporting Trinity Financial Group for a $250,000 housing study in exchange for a Pontiac Firebird.

The 53-year-old Black River Falls man pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe in April.

U.S. District Judge William Conley sentenced Pettibone Wednesday and called him a “corrupt official” who took multiple bribes. Conley said Pettibone violated the trust of the Ho-Chunk Nation and that his sentence should send a message that corruption will not be tolerated.