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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Is the Democratic Dane County DA Failing to Take Threats to GOP Officials Seriously?

MacIver News Service
| March 31, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] In recent weeks, the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation has received more than 80 complaints regarding threats associated with activity at the Wisconsin State Capitol. This list does not include complaints made to the Capitol Police, the Madison Police Department the Dane County Sheriff or the Wisconsin State Patrol.

A shocking statement from the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office raises serious questions regarding the status of the investigaton of at least one of those threats, which they indicate “presented sufficient probable cause that criminal behavior had occurred.”

Wisconsin Department of Justice Spokesman Bill Cosh released the following statement Thursday:

Beginning on February 21, 2011 DCI was asked to investigate multiple threats to various members of the Wisconsin Legislature due to the volume, our ability to fully analyze the many communications and our experience. I believe it’s also fair to say authorities believed we would be prompt in our efforts to investigate and take appropriate action given the nature of the threats and the climate at the time.

DCI immediately reviewed and analyzed what was sent. Every referral was investigated. In the judgment of investigators, some presented a need for more intense investigation; some did not. One case in particular, which was started upon the receipt of threats on March 9, 2011, the subject of whom is a Dane County resident, was thoroughly investigated.

Investigators concluded it did not present an imminent threat but presented sufficient probable cause that criminal behavior had occurred and on Friday, March 18, 2011 this matter was referred to the Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne who has sole jurisdiction and charging authority for a charging decision.

On Monday, March 23, 2011 the Department of Justice learned through press reports that the Dane County District Attorney had returned the referral to the Department citing clerical and administrative issues related to the reports transfer.  Importantly the investigative reports themselves were not returned. It is important to note that this Department routinely refers investigative reports to District Attorneys, including the Dane County District Attorney, for their review and charging decisions.

This is where this matter currently sits.

We are concerned about the lack of action regarding this referral.

District Attorney Ozanne has been leading the efforts to block implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, the new Wisconsin law which restricts the collective bargaining powers of the state’s government employee unions. He has appeared before Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi who has issued orders blocking the publication and enforement of the law.

An inquiry into the Dane County District Attorney’s office from the MacIver News Service has not yet been returned as of press time.

Of the 86 complaints DCI received through March 18, sixteen remain open, ongoing investigations.

UPDATE: WI teacher charged with sending death threats

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