The Northwestern

Aug. 03, 2002 

FBI confirms investigation of Paulus
DA says no contact made in the case

By Alex Hummel
of the Northwestern

A special agent with the FBI in Milwaukee said Friday there is an ongoing investigation surrounding Winnebago County District Attorney Joseph Paulus, but he would not discuss the focus of the investigation.

 “... We do have an investigation,” said Special Agent Barry Babler, who also acts as a media spokesman for the Milwaukee office.

 Babler declined to discuss the nature of the investigation.

 It’s the first on-the-record confirmation from an FBI agent that an investigation is ongoing. 

Two county judges forwarded information in May to a state court disciplinary panel to investigate drunken driving cases handled by the District Attorney’s office. 

Former Assistant District Attorney Edmund Jelinski and Menasha Police Officer Ann Gollner in May said they alerted the FBI to cases in which drunken driving charges were reduced or dismissed possibly in exchange for money or favors.

 Paulus, however, said he has not been contacted and continued his staunch denial of any wrongdoing. He said if an investigation is ongoing, he welcomes it and vows authorities will find no wrongdoing under his tenure.

 “I have no concerns about any of that,” Paulus said.

 “To say that this is an investigation of Joe Paulus is a huge stretch,” he said. “To say that this is an investigation of the DA’s office is a stretch.”

 Jelinski, Paulus’ opponent in the fall district attorney race, released on Tuesday audio tapes of conversations he recorded without Paulus’ knowledge between February and May. 

The recordings include Paulus talking in graphic detail about a sexual encounter with a woman during office hours in his office. 

Paulus said his comments, shared with Jelinski and former assistant district attorney Thomas Chalchoff during a February car trip to Milwaukee off company time, amounted to “locker room” talk. He denied having sexual intercourse with any women in his office.

 Paulus suggested Friday he may, at some point, file suit seeking to clear his name. 

“People can have all the fun they want with me, but there will be some legal recourse,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the head of Paulus’ domestic abuse investigation unit gave his resignation notice Friday, Paulus said.

 James Goggins, who took the job in March after a long career with the Winnebago County sheriff’s department, did not immediately return a phone message.

 Paulus said Goggins’ reason for resigning was due to a family health matter, but he referred all further questions to Goggins. 

Alex Hummel: (920) 426-6669 or

John Maloney
Police/Prosecutor Misconduct