Media Center

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announces settlement with Minnesota couple charged with unlawfully filling portions of a lakebed in washburn county


MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Justice has settled a case against a Minnesota couple who unlawfully filled portions of a lakebed in Washburn County, Attorney General Van Hollen announced today.


Wisconsin law prohibits the placement of fill material on the bed of navigable waters without a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). According to the civil complaint filed by the Department of Justice, at the request of the DNR last May, Jess and Mary Cay Carsello of Eagan, Minnesota, who own a second home on Big Ripley Lake, deposited fill material onto the bed of the lake in October of 2005, in violation of state law. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the Carsellos will remove the illegal fill and will pay penalties and costs of $10,000 for the violations.


The settlement was approved by Washburn County Circuit Judge Eugene Harrington.


"The law is clear. Those wishing to place fill in state waters must seek a permit from the DNR," Van Hollen said. "This process ensures the state's waters are protected, for the benefit of Wisconsin citizens and the environment. The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure compliance with the law."


Assistant Attorney General Shari Eggleson represented the State.