Spotlight: UW hires professor who falsely accused Walker

Wisconsin Spotlight | Oct. 18, 2022
MADISON — Remember the nutty professor who falsely claimed then-Gov. Scott Walker fathered a love child during his time as a student at Marquette University?
She’s now working for the Department of Pediatrics at the taxpayer-funded University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Bernadette Gillick was a professor at the University of Minnesota in 2012 when she accused Walker, a Republican, of fathering a child in 1988 with Gillick’s first-year roommate. Gillick made a big splash with the media just days before Walker’s recall election against Milwaukee Democrat Mayor Tom Barrett, despite the fact that Walker and Gillick’s roommate “Ruth” denied the claims.

As National Review reported at the time, the professor, in collaboration with the far left Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative, alleged Walker, who is pro-life, pressured “Ruth” to pursue an abortion.

But when “Ruth,” was contacted by the WCMC, she denied the claim. “I can confirm that it was not Scott Walker who is my daughter’s father,” she told the publication. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice also contacted Gillick’s former roommate: “Yes, she got pregnant as a first-year student, but she believes Dr. Gillick is mixing up stories.”

“Further questions have cast doubt on Gillick’s allegation — specifically reviews of Wisconsin court records, which reveal a paternity case involving ‘Scott A. Walker,’ not Scott K. Walker, the governor,” National Review reported.

Walker called the rumor “horrific” and “ridiculous.”

Gillick’s attorney, Michael Fargione, at the time told National Review his client would not issue a retraction or modified statement.

Fargione claimed his client’s motives were pure, regardless of the timing of her decision to come forward — days before the election. “She’s not a political person,” he said. “She’s not a resident of Wisconsin and hasn’t been involved in that stuff.”

Last year, the University of Wisconsin hired Gillick to serve as an associate professor on the tenure track to the Division of Developmental Pediatrics & Rehabilitation Medicine. As the press release states, Gillick earned her PhD in rehabilitation science with a minor in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota, and completed a fellowship in randomized behavioral clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.

She is an internationally respected expert on the use of innovative technologies and interventions in perinatal stroke and cerebral palsy from infancy to young adulthood, a university press release notes.

“Equally exciting, the multidisciplinary nature of Gillick’s research is expected to overlap with other units, including the pediatric divisions of neonatology and critical care, the departments of neurology and neurosurgery, and the UW-Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, the press release states.

There was no mention in the press release of Gillick’s much-disputed, politically charged claim and the damage it was meant to cause.

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