The state’s top jobs agency has written off $7.6 million in taxpayer-funded loans since it was created by Gov. Scott Walker about four years ago.The write-offs include 28 different loans removed from the balance sheets of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., with some companies receiving multiple loans. The majority of those loans, which officials typically write off after determining the likelihood of collecting the debt is small, were awarded by the former state Department of Commerce, the predecessor to the WEDC.
One of those loans, which was awarded by the WEDC to Building Committee Inc., set off a firestorm of criticism in recent weeks after it was revealed that some of Walker’s top aides and a powerful lobbyist pushed for a $500,000 unsecured loan to the now-defunct company, which was owned by Walker campaign contributor William Minahan. That loan was written off by the WEDC last year.The $500,000 given to BCI amounts to about 7% of the loans — totaling $7,607,013 as of early June — that the agency has written off since it was created in 2011.