***Edit. Harris removed the fake endorsements. As of 8:51am CST, the endorsements have been taken down after our story ran***
We told you last November about Sharmain Harris. He’s a multiple felon that has earned the favor of many local democrat politicians like Michael Graveley (D) and Judge Mary K. Wagner (D). His criminal convictions are recent and very violent.
While a juvenile, Sharmain was convicted of Burglary and given 1 year of probation which ended in 2007. We don’t know the details because the records are sealed.
In 2009, Sharmain was charged with 3 felonies for selling crack. He was a drug dealer and sold real and fake crack to a confidential informant. He plead guilty to two of the felonies as part of a plea deal. Wagner gave him probation. This is very unusual.
Later in 2009, in a gangland attack, according to the victim, Harris beat a man with a baseball bat, and threw a brick though the window of the man’s home, shattering it. This brick hit a woman in the stomach. Police charged Sharmain with 4 felonies and 2 misdemeanors. He was facing 29 years behind bars. Michael Graveley’s office and Judge Wagner gave him an unbelievable plea deal and he got more probation. No prison.
Like everyone expected, he wasn’t done with crime. In 2011 Sharmain’s ex-girlfriend told police he kicked down the door of her house house. He then shouted “Where’s my shit?!” She said he was looking for his drugs. Her 5-year-old daughter was present for this interaction. He then grabbed her by the neck and strangled her so she could not breath. He dragged her around the house. He stole $600 from her wallet. He was charged with felony strangulation and suffocation, battery, criminal damage to property and theft – all with repeater status. He was facing more than 18 years behind bars. Graveley’s office and Wagner allowed Harris to plead guilty to the theft, criminal damage to property and battery. They dismissed the felony. Believe it or not, no jail time. The department of corrections, however did revoke the probation and Wagner sentenced him to 3 years in prison. Sharmain didn’t worry though, Graveley would be coming to the rescue soon enough. Judge Wagner would send letters back and forth with Harris congratulating him on his graduation and other inappropriate communications while he was in prison. Graveley and Wagner modified his sentence in 2016.
The Pardon Application
On March 9, 2020, Harris applied for a pardon from Governor Tony Evers. Harris broke most of the rules in his application. He applied too early – you have to wait until 5 years have passed after your sentence is complete. He wasn’t eligible until February of 2021. He also tried to pull a fast one on his application. He only attached his judgements of conviction. He didn’t attach the criminal complaints as clearly described in the rules. The complaints give the specific details of the crime. They look much worse than looking only at the convictions. He also didn’t list his misdemeanor convictions. The Governor’s office made him send in the complaints, which he later did.
In his application he states in part:
“Between 2008 and 2010 my life was chaotic. I was pulled over many times for traffic violation (sic). I received minor weed tickets. I was arrested and let go many times. I was also held on probation holds where my name was mentioned but nothing came of it. Those were definitely my worst years.”
Ever since Harris was released from prison, he did the minimum to build up his “pardon resume”. He started some organizations for Dads and finished college. He wants a pardon to run for Alderman in Kenosha. If pardoned, he would be able to hold public office and legally carry a gun. Will Kenosha really benefit from this man holding elected office and being able to carry a gun in public? Most of Evers’ pardons thus far have been dated and non-violent, so without Graveley and Wagner working behind the scenes, he will most likely have no chance of a pardon.
Fake Endorsements on Website
Harris has his own website to self-promote. On the splash page, he lists his endorsements:
Here’s the thing – we know 6 of these 8 are fake, and the other two wouldn’t comment. We reached out to all 8 organizations and this is what they told us.
WIC and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families: Director Kari Malone told us “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The WIC program does not endorse anyone and we have asked Mr. Harris to remove our logo and any reference that might indicate an endorsement by the program from his website. (4-9-2021)
Kenosha Unified School District and Early Head Start: KUSD Chief Communication Officer Tanya Ruder told us “We have reached out to Mr. Harris twice to find out who provided him permission to note KUSD as endorsing him because we are unaware of this happening. We have not yet heard back.” (3-29-2021)
Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA): Director Todd Battle was not eager to talk to us, but then relented and told us in part: “KABA hosted an event a few years ago where there was a discussion/interview with DA Mike Graveley and Sharmain”… “Not sure how this amounts to an endorsement” (3-31-2021)
Wisconsin County Human Service Association: Director Katie Davis told us: “WCHSA has not endorsed Harris or his services.” (4-9-2021)
Carthage College President John Swallow would not comment either way after repeated attempts to get a comment.
LMI Packaging would not comment.
As if the time of publication, these 8 endorsements are all still up on Harris’ website. We stand by our opinion that violent felons like Harris shouldn’t be pardoned. They also shouldn’t lie about endorsements to help in their quest.
We told Harris we were running a story about the endorsements and asked him for comment and/or clarification. He simply responded, “run it”.