Evers pardons 17 people for crimes ranging from stealing calves to dealing drugs

Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Tony Evers pardoned 17 people on Thursday for crimes that ranged from stealing calves and snowmobiles to robbing a pizza delivery man and dealing drugs. 

Several of those who were pardoned said they sought the pardon so they could run for public office, expand their businesses or become a foster parent. 

Evers said he made the pardons based on recommendations from the Governor's Pardon Advisory Board after their hearings on Dec. 4 and Feb. 5. 

“I believe in second chances. Each of these individuals has earned a pardon by paying their debt to society, making amends, and contributing to their communities,”  Evers said. “Many of the individuals I pardoned were seeking pardons to advance their careers or better serve their communities, and I wish them the best in these endeavors.” 

Robert Olson was 19 when he and a friend stole two calves and sold them. He was convicted of felony theft. 

Now 58, Olson has completed his probation and has owned and operated an RV sales company for the last 25 years.

After being pardoned, Olson hopes to become a foster parent, obtain a passport and buy a firearm. 

Other pardons may include future candidates for public office:

  • Michael Hranicka, 45, was 18 when he and others stole snowmobiles, spray-painted school property and broke into a house to steal electronics. He sought a pardon to expand his business opportunities as a self-employed flooring installer and to get involved with youth trout conservation programs. He also hopes to run for public office. 
  • Scott Sowle, 50, was 19 when he was convicted of attempted burglary. Sowle has completed his probation and serves as a safety manager for a local manufacturer and pursued a pardon to enable him to travel internationally for work and possibly run for local office. 
  • Joel Blase, 44, was 19 when he robbed a pizza delivery man. Now, he wants to run for local office. 
  • Bradley Cummings was convicted of selling prescription drugs to an undercover detective at age 18. He completed his sentence and is currently an employee with the Portage County Register of Deeds and applied for a pardon to run for public office and to become a notary for work purposes. 

Several pardons involved those who had sold drugs decades ago.

  • Rudolph Rott, 62, was convicted of felony drug-dealing 35 years ago but has become a successful small business owner. 
  • Joseph Bass, 49, was 23 when he sold cocaine in Milwaukee. He and his wife now run a flooring company together. 
  • Rachel Mohr, 51, was 30 when she was convicted for selling marijuana. She is now a stay-at-home mom and volunteers at her son's school. 
  • Matthew Riehle, 38, was 19 when he was convicted for selling marijuana. He now owns his own construction business.

The others who were pardoned and their crimes are Paul Anderson, 43, car theft; Anthony Bianco, getaway driver in a robbery; Aaron Roux, 35, burglary; James Grover, 36, car theft; Alvin Korbel, 69, arson; David Bolton, 65, robbery; Christoph Halverson, 34, fleeing police; and Josh Reppen, 31, for being a getaway driver during a theft.

Evers has pardoned 29 people so far in his first term as governor. 

Editors note: A previous version of this story misstated Scott Sowle's age and case information. He is 50 and was convicted of attempted burglary.