Official’s Misconduct: Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz’s Treatment of a Crime Victim (Update)

Less than a day after his original story, the AP‘s Ryan Foley follows up, in E-mails show DA tried to keep ‘sexting’ quiet to show that District Attorney Ken Kratz tried to keep his conduct hidden from state officials, and lied to Foley about his willingness to accept responsibility for his conduct. (For my original post on the story, see Official’s Misconduct: Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz’s Treatment of a Crime Victim.

Foley writes:

Kratz said they [his texts] were “a series of respectful messages” that were not sexual at all.

Kevin Potter, administrator of DOJ’s division of legal services, rejected that and told Kratz the texts could have jeopardized the prosecution of Shannon Konitzer on a felony strangulation charge. Potter said Van Groll could have refused to cooperate or the messages could have become evidence used to question her motives and credibility….

Potter told Kratz he could have been seen by Van Groll as going easy on Konitzer if he reached a plea bargain because she rejected his overtures, or that he wanted the case to end quickly so they could start a relationship. If he would have prosecuted Konitzer to the fullest extent, that could have been seen as a way to ingratiate himself with Van Groll, Potter wrote.

Potter’s assessment could not be more clear or more accurate. Foley writes that Kratz insisted the risk was merely ‘potential.’ Kratz’s contention is absurdly stupid — at their inception, all actual risks are merely potential. That some do not come to pass does not relieve their creators from responsibility for recklessness.

Beyond the risk to the case, there was, of course, actual harm to the domestic abuse victim who complained of Kratz’s unwanted advances. There’s nothing potential about her further victimization at the hands of a Wisconsin district attorney.

Foley also catches Kratz in a self-serving lie: Kratz contended yesterday that he resigned from a victim rights board as a “self-imposed sanction.” That’s false. Foley shows that Kratz didn’t want to resign at all, and only did so after the Wisconsin Department of Justice threatened to reveal the text messages to the Wisconsin District Attorneys’ Association.

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