Text of DA’s letter to A.G. Lautenschlager

April 14, 2004

Dear Attorney General Lautenschlager:

On April 13, 2004, criminal charges were filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin against former District Attorney Joseph F. Paulus. The information alleges that in approximately 22 cases Mr. Paulus received bribes for dismissing cases, reducing charges, returning seized property, and requesting another county's District Attorney to give lenient treatment to a certain attorney's client. It is alleged that while District Attorney, Joseph F. Paulus, received approximately $48,050 from this attorney. I am writing to request that a formal investigation be started by the Attorney General's office. While the federal charges deal with only one attorney, this may have been a broader practice by Mr. Paulus. I believe that just because federal charges were filed this should not relieve Mr. Paulus of answering to his criminal conduct in State Court.

In addition to charges of Bribery, my office has received dozens of allegations by individuals indicating that Attorney Paulus lied to police, judges, victims, and other attorneys in an effort to win cases and to obtain favorable media coverage. I have serious concerns about numerous cases which were handled by Attorney Paulus which dates back to the early 1990's. We believe that an investigation is needed to root out the other individuals who may have assisted Mr. Paulus in his misconduct.

I would like to have a meeting between a representative from the Attorney General's office and myself to discuss many of these allegations more in depth. I will be contacting your office in an effort to set up such a meeting. The allegations against Mr. Paulus are very disturbing. They shake the foundations of our criminal justice system. I believe that nothing short of a complete and thorough investigation is needed to assure that justice is and was done for everyone.

William M. Lennon
District Attorney, Winnebago County

Click HERE to read the official federal charging document (in pdf format).

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