MILWAUKEE - Despite reported speculations that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's "swanky" 2006 Cadillac SUV was funded by taxpayer dollars, the mayor's office said it was actually a seized police vehicle, according to the Journal Sentinel.
The Sentinel reports it was seized in a drug raid and turned over to the Milwaukee Police Department, which provides vehicles for the mayor's security detail.
The Mayor's Chief of Staff Patrick Curley said the Cadillac, which was returned to the police department June 25, served as a temporary fix while fleet services figured out what to do with a 1998 Chevy Tahoe that is now in the shop but had previously been part of the mayor's security detail, reported the Sentinel.
Curley said the mayor wants to continue using cars from the police department's asset forfeiture program to save taxpayers money.
The mayor has two cars as part of his security detail, usually a four-door sedan and an all-wheel-drive vehicle used during the week. On the weekends, Curley said the mayor uses his own Ford Taurus, according to the Sentinel.
Barrett is reportedly waiting for a 2008 Buick from another drug forfeiture case to take its place, Curley told the Sentinel.
Though the police department uses cars it seizes from drug busts to bolster its fleet of undercover vehicles or vehicles used for security, it doesn't usually keep the very high-end cars because they are too expensive to repair, said Gordon Gregg, the police building and fleet manager for the Milwaukee Police Department, as reported by the Sentinel.