Former Ho-Chunk Nation legislator sentenced for bribery

Clarence Pettibone sentenced to 5 years in prison
Former Baraboo student sues district for failing to respond to racial discrimination, sexual assault.

A former Ho-Chunk Nation legislator was sentenced to five years in federal prison for a bribery scheme.

Prosecutors said Clarence Pettibone had extensive knowledge of a bribery scheme that ran from 2002 to 2009. They said he took $3 million paid by clients from funds they received from the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Pettibone, 53 of Black River Falls, was a former elected legislator of the Ho-Chunk Nation. He pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe in April.

U.S. District Chief Judge William Conley sentenced Pettibone Wednesday and called Pettibone a “corrupt official” who took multiple bribes. Conley said Pettibone violated the trust of the Ho-Chunk Nation and his sentence should send a message that corruption will not be tolerated.

The charges against Pettibone arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.