Posted May 30, 2002

FBI checks into Paulus case

Former assistant DA contacted about allegations

By Dan Wilson
Post-Crescent staff writer

A former assistant district attorney for Winnebago County confirmed Wednesday he has been contacted by FBI and state officials investigating possible wrongdoing in the district attorney’s office.

“Yes, the FBI has contacted me and so has the OLR (state Office of Lawyer Regulation), but I don’t want to get into the details because it might compromise the investigation,” said John Daniels, who transferred to the Outagamie County DA’s office last December.

Daniels is the first person to acknowledge publicly that federal investigators have pursued the case.

The Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office and Dist. Atty. Joseph Paulus have been rocked by accusations that Paulus showed favoritism that resulted in cases being dismissed or reduced.

The accusations allege Paulus made deals for Milton “Mitch” Schierland when he was a defense attorney. Schierland was hired in early 1999 as an assistant district attorney.

Paulus said he has not been notified of any investigation.

“I have not been contacted by anybody,” he said. “That’s news to me.”

Also, the Menasha Police Department announced Wednesday the Green Bay Police Department has agreed to handle the investigation into one of its officers who played a role in triggering the investigations into the DA’s office.

Ann Gollner was a domestic abuse investigator in the office before she was reassigned by Paulus back to her former position with the police department.

Gollner is the target of a complaint by Paulus for what he characterized as a “secret, unauthorized investigation of (Paulus) outside her jurisdiction while portraying herself as a police officer conducting an official investigation.”

Gollner contacted a woman who had a drunken driving charge dismissed in 1999.

“We asked the Green Bay Police Department to assist us, which they agreed to do,” said Menasha Police Chief Robert Stanke. “Our interest is to ensure neutrality on this issue for both parties and to have the confidence of the public in this investigation. There is no set timetable.”

Dan Wilson can be reached at 920-993-1000, ext. 304, or by e-mail at

John Maloney
Police/Prosecutor Misconduct