Official recorder not used
finds Jelinski purchased device
By Alex Hummel
of the Northwestern
Fired Assistant District Attorney Edmund Jelinski did
not use a Winnebago County drug squad wire device to secretly record conversations
with his former boss District Attorney Joseph Paulus, an investigation
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Steven
Verweil said Wednesday his brief investigation into the claims made by
Paulus “is now closed.”
“There were allegations made, and I found no substantiation
of those allegations,” Verweil said. “It was apparent that this was an
The tape recordings – which Paulus acknowledged
might contain embarrassing, not incriminating, statements by him – are
one chapter in two months of political intrigue and accusations by Jelinski,
who seeks Paulus’ job.
Jelinski said money or political favors have passed between
select defense attorneys and prosecutors in exchange for reduced charges
and sentences in court cases. He said he originally went to the FBI in
January with several cases.
The FBI has not returned repeated phone messages from
The wire recordings investigation report states that Jelinski
was interviewed last week and admitted taping Paulus. However, Jelinski
said he did so with a microcassette recorder that he bought on his own.
Jelinski said he taped Paulus to document a shaky employer-employee relationship,
and that he expected to be fired after his allegations and district attorney
bid were announced.
The report says that Jelinski “verbally attacked” Paulus,
Sheriff Michael Brooks and Verweil during the interview. Jelinski said
he questioned the validity of the investigation because Brooks has supported
The report also states Oshkosh Police Officer Jim
Curtis once recommended that Jelinski buy a microcassette recorder as an
effective way to tape his boss. Paulus asked that Curtis, a domestic abuse
investigator, be reassigned last month after Jelinski was fired.
Curtis told Verweil that he advised Jelinski “not
to use the wire because it could cause problems down the line with using
Jelinski said he never specifically asked to use
the equipment. He and Paulus, the 13-year incumbent, swapped criticisms
Wednesday after release of the report.
Jelinski said it shows Paulus, the county’s “chief law
enforcement officer,” has a political vendetta “to destroy anybody he perceives
to be an enemy.”
“I think the use of taxpayer money for this is ridiculous,”
Paulus said his former assistant unethically used work
time to tape him. He also criticized Jelinski for allying himself with
Ann Gollner -- a Menasha Police Department officer and former domestic
abuse investigator who Paulus claims conducted a secret investigation into
allegations of bribery in his office.
“How about tapping taxpayer funds to tape record
your boss on company time when he should be doing his job?” Paulus said.
“How about using taxpayer funds by working in complicity with an off-duty
police officer to conduct an investigation? This guy (Jelinski) lives by
a double standard.”
Paulus said he has decided whether he’ll seek re-election
but won’t disclose it.
“Whether I run or don’t run, I intend to fully expose
him (Jelinski) for the reckless, unfit character he is,” he said.
In the report, Paulus said two officers informed him of
the possible illegal use of the drug squad’s body wire, but he doesn’t
identify them citing the Monfils Law, a state law that protects the identities
Verweil interviewed several members of the Multi-jurisdictional
Enforcement Group, all of whom denied knowledge of Jelinski or anybody
using wire equipment to tape Paulus, according to the report.
Paulus said he isn’t surprised by the findings.
In his original request for investigation, Paulus noted Gollner’s husband
is a member of the MEG unit.
“I certainly never expected any MEG unit officers
or Jelinski to admit to it,” Paulus said.
Gollner’s husband initially declined to be interviewed
by Verweil. He’ll be interviewed Monday with a police union representative
member present, according to the report.
Alex Hummel: (920) 426-6669 or firstname.lastname@example.org