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Wis. office wants to suspend former DA's licenseWatchdog office asks Wis. Supreme Court to suspend former DA's license for sexting
MADISON, Wis. (AP) ' The Wisconsin office that regulates attorney conduct asked the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to suspend a former prosecutor's law license for allegedly sending women racy text messages and making sexual remarks to others, including a domestic violence victim whose ex-boyfriend he was prosecuting.
The Office of Lawyer Regulation filed a complaint with the court against former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz alleging that Kratz violated multiple state Supreme Court rules governing attorney conduct and recommending the court suspend his law license for six months.
Kratz, a Republican, resigned in October 2010 after The Associated Press reported that he sent racy text messages to a 26-year-old domestic abuse victim in 2009. He has since set up a private practice that handles criminal defense, drunken driving, divorce and injury cases, according to the firm's website. Kratz didn't respond to an email or phone message left Wednesday at his office, and his attorney, Robert Bellin, also didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
In his texts, Kratz called the woman a "tall, young, hot nymph" and billed himself as "the prize" with a $350,000 house.
The woman went to Kaukauna police, who forwarded the allegations to the state Justice Department. That agency concluded Kratz committed no criminal wrongdoing, but urged him to get someone else to prosecute the woman's case and recommended he step down as chairman of the crime victims board. Kratz complied with both recommendations.
He was ordered to self-report the text messages to the OLR, which declined to discipline him and closed its case against him in March 2010. The office concluded then he acted inappropriately but didn't commit any ethical violations. The office reopened its investigation in September 2010, bowing to public pressure following the AP's stories.
More women started coming forward with allegations against Kratz. The state Justice Department again concluded Kratz didn't commit any criminal offenses, but forwarded the files to the OLR to supplement its new investigation.
Now the office says Kratz committed multiple violations of Supreme Court rules governing attorney conduct.
The office's complaint said the text messages to the domestic abuse victim violated rules against engaging in sexual harassment and offensive behavior.
The complaint also noted that during that same period Kratz made lewd remarks about oral sex to a social worker worried about testifying in a parental rights case and told her he wanted to go to Las Vegas and have large-chested women serve him drinks.
The complaint went on to say Kratz remarked to another social worker about a court reporter's breasts.
The complaint noted, too, that a woman Kratz prosecuted for theft in 2006 accused Kratz of sexually assaulting her at her apartment in late 2009. Kratz insisted the sex was consensual, according to the complaint, but the OLR still said he engaged in offensive behavior and harassment based on sex.
Finally, the complaint said Kratz made sexual comments to a woman who wanted him to help her win a gubernatorial pardon for a drug conviction he had prosecuted. During a meeting in his office he asked the woman about sexual scenarios and followed up with text messages asking the woman to impress him.
Kratz has 20 days to file a formal response with the OLR. A message left at the OLR Wednesday evening wasn't immediately returned.
The 2009 domestic abuse victim has filed a civil lawsuit against Kratz in federal court alleging sexual harassment. That case is still pending. The woman's attorney, Michael Fox, didn't immediately return a message Wednesday evening.
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