7/8/11 – A major donor to Governor Scott Walker’s campaign will be on probation for two years for violating campaign finance laws. William Gardner of Hartford is President and Chief Executive Officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Company. The 63-year-old was convicted in May of two felonies. He pleaded guilty, admitting he exceeded the 10-thousand-dollar personal contribution limit and also gave money to others to make campaign gifts to Walker and other state candidates. The Walker camp returned 43-thousand-dollars in donations to Gardner and a few of his employees – and the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee gave back 35-hundred dollars. Prosecutors said the state would not recommend jail time because Gardner had cooperated. He was ordered Thursday to pay a $166 thousand dollar forfeiture as part of his plea agreement. Gardner could have been sentenced to up to seven years behind bars.