Wisconsin State Journal

Biskupic's Tactics Have Been Questioned

Sunday, December 18, 2005
Dee J. Hall

Former Outagamie County District Attorney Vince Biskupic's actions as prosecutor have been questioned before. His tactics have drawn a rebuke from the state Ethics Board, allegations of prosecutorial misconduct from another prosecutor and harsh words from a local judge.

In a court brief filed in October 2004, Winnebago County District Attorney Bill Lennon alleged Biskupic elicited false testimony from a jailhouse snitch who said an inmate was making threats against Biskupic's boss, Joseph Paulus. Biskupic was Paulus' deputy in Winnebago County before his election in Outagamie County in 1994. Paulus is now in prison on bribery-related convictions.

According to the evidence uncovered by Lennon, Biskupic elicited false testimony from one witness and also withheld some audio tapes that could have helped the defendant.

In a written response to the Wisconsin State Journal, Biskupic denied he was required to turn over the tapes.

In 2003, the state Ethics Board rebuked Biskupic after a Wisconsin State Journal series showed that while district attorney, he struck secret deals with defendants to get more lenient treatment if they paid up to $8,000 to local anti-crime groups or a fund in his office.

The ethics panel said Biskupic's program looked like "justice for sale to those who can afford it" and notified all district attorneys in Wisconsin that such programs were illegal. The Ethics Board didn't fine Biskupic because it found he didn't gain financially from the deals. Biskupic at the time declared he was "cleared," but Executive Director Roth Judd rejected that characterization as "inaccurate."

In 1995, Biskupic was removed from a murder case by Outagamie County Circuit Judge John Des Jardins for ordering the destruction of police reports in the prosecution of a 16-year-old boy charged with killing another teenager who was related to several local police officers. The case was sent to Brown County, and Greg Kortz was sentenced to 13 years in the slaying. Des Jardins said Biskupic's actions violated his obligations to preserve evidence and were intended to damage Kortz's defense.

Innocent Imprisoned
Police/Prosecutor Misconduct
Truth in Justice