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.
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 17