Assembly speaker lives outside district he represents

JANESVILLE - Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan is not living in the district he represents but plans to return as soon as possible, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Mike Sheridan

JANESVILLE - Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan is not living in the district he represents but plans to return as soon as possible, a spokeswoman said Friday.

The change in addresses is the result of a pending divorce between Sheridan and his wife, spokeswoman Rebekah Sweeney said.

"He is absent with the intent to return as soon as possible," she said.

State law requires a lawmaker to live in the Assembly district he or she represents. A government accountability board spokesperson said the law permits a temporary absence as long as the lawmaker intends to move back into the district.

Sheridan and his wife had been living on Nantucket Drive on the city's far east side. In the divorce proceeding, the couple have stipulated that the wife will live on Nantucket and Sheridan will live at 4244 Ruger Ave., a home the couple owns that is not in Sheridan's 44th Assembly District.


Sheridan's official Assembly Web page lists his address as 828 Sentinel Dr., which is part of the district.

Sweeney said that when Sheridan and his wife separated, he temporarily stayed with a friend at the Sentinel Drive home. He has since moved into the home on Ruger, she said, adding that the state's Web site has not been updated.

Sheridan recently acknowledged he had dated Shanna Wycoff, a lobbyist for the payday loan industry. Sheridan announced in the fall he had softened his stance on regulating payday lenders, but he has insisted that dating Wycoff has had no influence on his views on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday that Sheridan intends to file an amended campaign finance report to include more detail about travel reimbursements.

The newspaper reported that Sheridan spent more than $5,000 on campaign travel over the final six months of 2009 but did not disclose whom the payments went to, as required by law.

Legislators and other candidates for office are required to report what hotels and airlines received payments, said Reid Magney, spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, which oversees the state's election laws.

Sheridan used his campaign account to reimburse himself 20 times in the second half of last year, for a total of $7,963.

One entry for $1,800 gave this description: "airfare/travel to Georgia conference; computer printer; campaign meetings." Another entry for $1,184 said it was for "computer and hotel." Eleven other entries were marked "travel" but included no other information.


In all, travel expenses that included minimal information came to $5,608. Another $1,017 in reimbursements to Sheridan went toward mileage; $1,015 went toward food for a fundraiser; $282 went toward administrative expenses; and $41 went toward meals and meeting expenses, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Janesville Gazette, Wis./Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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