UPDATE: Emails show UW regents' concerns over hire

UPDATED Monday, May 5, 2014 --- 2:32 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that the University of Wisconsin System's decision to hire a close confidant of Gov. Scott Walker raised concerns among at least two members of the Board of Regents.

Jim Villa began his $178,000 job Monday as UW vice president for university relations. Villa served as Walker's chief of staff when he was Milwaukee County executive and has been a longtime friend.

Emails obtained by the AP under the open records law show that state superintendent and UW regent Tony Evers emailed fellow regent John Drew two days after the appointment was announced, saying he was reading "scary" information online about Villa.

Drew said he also had concerns and reached out to fellow regent Chuck Pruitt who assured him Villa was not an "ideologue."

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 --- 11:12 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker's former chief of staff at the county level has been selected for a new high profile job at the University of Wisconsin System.

Jim Villa's selection as vice president for university relations was announced Wednesday by UW President Ray Cross. The 42-year-old Villa will be paid $178,000 a year.

Villa was one of five finalists for the job, which also included Walker administration official Georgia Maxwell.

Villa is the president and CEO of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin. He starts the new position May 5.

Villa's name appeared in some of the 28,000 pages of emails released in the criminal investigation of former Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch and his home was searched in 2010 because Rindfleisch lived there. Villa was not charged in the probe.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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