WDAA's Response Concerning Allegations Against District Attorney Ken Kratz



Wisconsin District Attorneys Association

P.O. Box 1702  Madison, WI 53701  www.wisconsindaa.com  wdaa_director@yahoo.com

September 17, 2010

District Attorney Kenneth Kratz

Calumet County Courthouse

206 Court Street

Chilton, Wisconsin 53014-1127

District Attorney Kratz:

The Wisconsin District Attorney’s Association is a voluntary organization

established to advocate on behalf of prosecutors throughout Wisconsin. While we

have no supervisory authority, we have the benefit of the collective and

institutional knowledge of our membership. Though we have no ability to

counsel or sanction others, those who look to us for guidance on criminal justice

matters should know that we are a responsible entity which has the objectivity and

wherewithal to engage issues as serious as those you have become involved in.

Your behavior involving a crime victim was repugnant and cannot be

countenanced. Crime victims have both statutory and constitutional protections

which are designed to protect them from systemic or bureaucratic abuses that may

unintentionally flow from our criminal justice system. Our statutes provide for

sanctions to be imposed upon any prosecutor or judge who does not zealously

guard victims rights.

Your behavior was neither unintentional nor innocent. As a cofounder of our

current victim rights system, and as a frequent lecturer on these topics, no

prosecutor could be expected to know these issues better.

When a crime victim exercised her statutory right to consult with the prosecutor,

you used that access to promote your own self interests. That alone was wrong,

however the goals you were pursuing were improper, disturbing, and repugnant.

You apparently took advantage of victim contact information, data collected to

aid and assist victims, to pursue an unwanted sexual liaison. In so doing, you

forced a crime victim to consider whether her unwillingness to consummate such

a liaison might translate into inaction on her criminal case.

Your behavior has cast aspersions on our entire profession. It has generated the

question of whether our crime victims, whose interests we serve, may now

hesitate when considering whether to share their personal information with us or

participate in our prosecutions. It is impossible to fathom how any crime victim in

your county could ever do so with your office in the future.


Wi s c o n s i n D i s t r i c t A ons in Di ri At t o rne y s As s o c i a t i on (WDAA) Pa g e 2 of 2

P.O. Box 1702  Madison, WI 53701  www.wisconsindaa.com  wdaa_director@yahoo.com

Our entity does not have the capacity to sanction or discharge you. However, those of us who have

supervisory duties in our offices have no hesitation in declaring that any prosecutor in our own offices

would be discharged for this type of behavior. We ask you to reflect, objectively, on your conduct. We

hope that you will recognize that your behavior was inconsistent with the standards of our profession,

and that you will impose upon yourself the discipline that we would hope you would impose upon

anyone else who might do the same. Alternatively, we will ask Governor Doyle to review this matter

and evaluate whether your conduct meets the standard for removal from office.

By Unanimous Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Wisconsin

District Attorneys Association on September 17th, 2010.

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WDAA Resolution No. 09-01 - Opposition to Furloughs for Prosecutors

WDAA Resolution No. 09-01
Opposition to Furloughs for Prosecutors

Whereas, the Wisconsin Legislature codified certain rights to victims and witnesses of crime with the prosecutor under an obligation to honor and protect theses rights. See generally Wis. Stat. 950.01 (2007-08).

Whereas, in addition to their obligations to victims and witnesses, prosecutors play a unique role in our system of government in responding promptly, at all hours, to time sensitive inquiries and needs of police officers, sheriffs' deputies, judges and court commissioners, front-line social workers assisting victims of crime, and defense attorneys.

Whereas, a prosecutor, as an attorney, has an ethical responsibility to proceed on a case only when the attorney has thoroughly prepared the case, which is not possible when an attorney handles too many cases at the same time. See SCR 20:1.1.

Whereas, the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) found that the State of Wisconsin failed to provide the number of prosecutors required under the weighted caseload formula and failed to add positions when a new law increased the demands placed upon prosecutors. LAB Report 07-9, available at http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/reports/07-9Full.pdf.

Whereas, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) forwarded the request for increasing the number of prosecutors to correspond with the need documented under the audit reports. See District Attorney Budget Paper, available at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lfb/2009-11Budget/Agency%20Request/da.pdf.

Whereas, the recently enacted biennial budget failed to provide adequate funding to ensure that the State of Wisconsin would have the necessary number of prosecutors to handle criminal caseloads in counties throughout the state.

Whereas, the request by the Wisconsin Governor to furlough state employees, including prosecutors, would further undermine the ability for a prosecutor to comply with his or her ethical obligations to victims, witnesses, accused persons, and the ends of justice. See Executive Order # 285, avail-able at http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?locid=19&prid=4355.

Whereas, the professional responsibilities of prosecutors are directly related to the incidence of criminal activity and law enforcement response to that activity, and not the biennial budget; therefore, the furlough days proposed in the executive order will reduce prosecutors incomes, but neither the value nor the quantity of the services they render.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (WDAA) does hereby oppose furloughs for prosecutors. Be it further resolved that the President of the WDAA be directed to disseminate this resolution to the Wisconsin Governor and members of the State Legislature.

Passed by the WDAA Board in June 2009.

Ralph Uttke, WDAA President

RE: State of Wisconsin Payroll Time & Attendance System

September 2009

Mr. Phil Werner
State Prosecutors Office
Department of Administration
101 E. Wilson Street
Madison, WI 53703

RE: State of Wisconsin Payroll Time & Attendance System

Dear Mr. Werner,

The Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (WDAA) supports the development of an automated system that provides proper accounting of state employee leave time when the system is accurate and provides for ease of use. Unfortunately, the recently developed State of Wisconsin Payroll Time & Attendance System (known alternatively as ptaweb) does not meet these needs in its current form.

The system provides inaccurate information regarding hours worked by prosecutors. For district attorneys, the system fails to recognize that vacation time does not exist as it does for most other state employees. The system forces a district attorney to inaccurately report time off as time worked because the system does not account for this aspect of a district
attorneys leave requirements. For all prosecutors, including deputy district attorneys and assistant district attorneys, the system provides the false illusion that their work is performed within a typical forty hour work week. The state has a severe shortage of prosecutors statewide and this system masks this crisis by providing the image that prosecutors can perform their duties within forty hours; in actuality, many of these prosecutors work numerous hours of uncompensated overtime that the system should account for to truly reflect the time that these state employees work.

The WDAA would like to work with your office and others at the state level to develop a system that accurately accounts for the hours worked and leave taken by prosecutors in this state. In its current form, the WDAA believes that the system is inaccurate and misreports prosecutor work hours.


Ralph Uttke, President
Wisconsin District Attorneys Association

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