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DOJ Will Not File Criminal Charges Against Former Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz


MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Justice has completed its criminal investigation of former Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz and will not be filing criminal charges, stated Cosh.


“Our prosecutors have concluded that they can not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a specific violation of a criminal law,” stated Cosh, who noted that any person is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Kratz had been the subject of a removal proceeding under section 17.16(3), Wis. Stats., a little used statutory procedure for the removal of a public official by the governor. When three residents of Calumet County filed verified charges last fall, former Governor Jim Doyle appointed Robert Jambois as commissioner for the removal hearing. Jambois subsequently requested prosecutorial assistance from the Department of Justice. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appointed Assistant Attorney General Tom Storm to assist with that proceeding.


Prior to commencement of the removal hearing on October 8, 2010, Kratz resigned the office of Calumet County District Attorney and the proceeding was terminated. The Department of Justice continued its investigation to determine if there were any criminal violations for related activities, considering specifically the applicability of statutes prohibiting sexual assault, misconduct in public office, and premature disclosure of a search warrant. There was insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution for any criminal offense.


The Department of Justice previously prompted a referral of the Kratz matter to the Supreme Court's Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), which handles the investigation and discipline of state lawyers, and has provided complete access to OLR of its investigative file.