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Sex-offender invited on-stage during State of the State address

Scott Walker
Scott Walker

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News) Governor Scott Walker says he's frustrated that a convicted felon and sex offender stood with him, while Walker called him an example of the state's economic recovery.

32-year-old Christopher Barber of Two Rivers was among 13 workers the Republican governor brought in for his State-of-the-State address on Tuesday night. Yesterday it was reported that Barber was convicted of charges including third-degree sexual assault and three drunk driving cases -- and he violated probation twice.

Walker said his office assumed Barber's employer, the Ariens' snow-blower and riding lawmower plant in Brillion, did a background check on him. The firm said it didn't -- but it said Barber was an example of how an unemployed person turned a part-time opportunity into a full-time job. Ariens' says it's now reviewing Barber's job status, now that his criminal record has been revealed.

Walker said most of those appearing with him had background checks, but Barber was one of the last people added -- and he came from a credible employer who suggested him at the last minute. In Walker's words, "There were thousands of other examples we could have used, and that would have been preferred."

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