UPDATE: Former DA loses law license for 4 months, statement released
MADISON (WKOW) --- A former Calumet County district attorney accused of sexual harassment will lose his law license for four months. Ken Kratz issued the following statement:
I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has finally resolved this matter which has unfortunately defined my personal and professional life since the fall of 2009.
From the very beginning, I admitted that my behavior was incredibly selfish and disrespectful, and chose to report the matter myself to the Office of Lawyer Regulation in 2009.
To attempt to avoid this lengthy public ordeal, I had offered to accept a 6-month license suspension back in December, 2011, which offer was declined by the OLR, and litigation was therefore required.
As I was the person who self-reported the matter to the OLR, there was never any question as to whether this improper texting incident occurred. Unfortunately, the OLR had included sensational allegations in the original complaint, including a sexual assault allegation, which I was obviously unwilling to ever admit to---those allegations were later dismissed by the OLR, as they never happened.
Surprisingly, the disclosure of my unhealthy lifestyle and disrespectful past behaviors has turned out to be the single best thing that has ever happened to me. Despite having lost my 25-year prosecution career, my wife, my house, my life-savings and my reputation, the opportunity I have been given to change my life, and recover from my addictive past, has been remarkable.
Helping clients and other attorneys who suffer with addiction every day has been the most rewarding part of my 4-year recovery journey, and I look forward to sharing my story of loss, accountability, recovery, and redemption with whoever cares to listen.
I am truly blessed that the Supreme Court has allowed me to continue to practice this wonderful profession, and despite the challenges presented by today's four-month sanction, I look forward to continuing to thrive in my new life, free from destructive and unhealthy addictive behaviors.
I encourage any attorney currently suffering from chemical or behavioral addiction to recognize the harm they are causing themselves, their loved ones, and their profession, and seek immediate assistance through the State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program.
I once again apologize for the embarrassment and dishonor I have caused my family, the Calumet County District Attorney's Office, and the legal profession as a whole. I am very pleased to recognize that today's sanctions applied to an incredibly selfish and arrogant public official---thankfully, a person who no longer exists.
Citizens are entitled to expect the highest ethical and professional standards from those attorneys representing their legal interests. This is especially true for crime victims, who must place their trust and faith in the prosecutors assigned to ensure justice in their criminal cases. Dignity and respect must be shown to all crime victims throughout the difficult criminal justice process, and failure to abide by those standards should carry very harsh remedies. That happened today.
With this ordeal now concluded, I intend to continue the private practice of law, representing clients with professional competence, and always ensuring the profession's legal and ethical standards are met or exceeded. Thankfully, all persons involved in this tragedy can finally move forward.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A former Calumet County district attorney accused of sexual harassment will lose his law license for four months. The Wisconsin Supreme Court made the announcement Friday and called Ken Kratz's actions "sophomoric." The state Office of Lawyer Regulation has recommended the court suspend Kratz's license for six months. A referee handling the case recommended a four-month suspension. Kratz was Calumet County's top prosecutor in 2010 when The Associated Press reported he tried to spark a relationship with a 25-year-old woman with a series of racy text messages in 2009 while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend for domestic abuse. More women then came forward and accused him of making sexual comments to them. Kratz ultimately resigned and later filed for bankruptcy. Kratz did not immediately return a call for comment left at his law office.
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