The Northwestern

Tue 14-May-2002 5:20 PM

DA assistant fired by Paulus 

Ed Jelinski talks to the Oshkosh Northwestern about issues facing the future of the DA's office and the FBI investigation. 
Northwestern photo by Joe Sienkiewicz 

Click here for termination letter

Northwestern Staff

Winnebago County District Attorney Joseph Paulus on Tuesday fired two assistant district attorney's involved in a campaign to unseat him.

Edmund Jelinski, 29, who is running against Paulus and Thomas Chalchoff, his campaign manager, were fired in the wake of Jelinski's public criticism of Paulus' office for "corruption and abuse of power."

In an interview with The Northwestern, Jelinski said there is an ongoing FBI investigation into several allegations of defendants paying for reduced or amended charges and sentences.

Jelinski said his firing amounts to expected and predicted political retribution from his boss for the stance he has taken. He predicted upon making his April 9 campaign announcement that his decision to run "may very well result in retaliation."

"I did not walk into this campaign in ignorance," Jelinski said. "I know exactly who Mr. Paulus was and what he was capable of."

Paulus declined to comment on the firing other than to say that he "did what I feel is in the best interest of the office."

Paulus said he cleared the firing of both men with the state attorney general's office, and was instructed not to discuss the firings.

Jelinski's termination letter, signed by Paulus, states "You have attempted to undermine my authority, have disrupted the office and have endangered my working relationship with the public and the courts."

Paulus last week deemed the misconduct allegations as political mudslinging by Jelinski and a former domestic abuse investigator, Menasha Police Department Officer Ann Gollner.

On Tuesday, he again said that the FBI has contacted neither him nor anyone else on his staff.

John Maloney
Police/Prosecutor Misconduct