DA Todd Martens Shirks His Duty
Here is a short recap of this matter. Using the open records law I discovered that my county clerk was not creating election records she is required to make. I reported on this here. I turned the matter of over to the DA by sending him this letter on October 9, 2007. The complete response from Washington County DA, Todd K. Martens, dated October 22, 2007, is here: Letter from Washington County DA Todd K. Martens. [In order to fight the "Memory Hole" effect of URLs, I have highlighted this post publication updatein green. jww].
According to the Washington County DA:
- My office has the responsibility to enforce Wisconsin's open meetings, open records, and ethics laws. Assuming there is a violation of the statute you cited [WI Stats. 7.23(1)(g)], my office does not have the authority to investigate it or prosecute it.
Wisconsin state statute 5.08 reads[emphasis mine]:
- 5.08 Petition for enforcement. Any elector[I] may file a verified petition alleging such facts as are within his or her knowledge to indicate that an election official has failed or is failing to comply with any law regulating the conduct of elections or election campaigns or proposes to act in a manner inconsistent with such a law, and requesting that an action be commenced for injunctive relief, a writ of mandamus or prohibition or other such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to compel compliance with the law. The petition shall be filed with the district attorney of the county where the violation or proposed action inconsistent with this chapter occurs or is proposed to occur. The district attorney may then commence the action or dismiss the petition. If the district attorney declines to act upon the petition or if the district attorney fails to act upon the petition within 15 days of the date of filing, the petitioner may file the same petition with the attorney general, who may then commence the action.
As a matter of law he is correct. The allegations in the letter are not submitted under penalty of perjury. So, I will recast my letter as a formal petition for action under 5.08 and follow every tittle and jot therein in order to create a verified complaint.
Milwaukee county district attorney, Mike McCann, began investigating election frauds from the November 2, 2004 election on the basis of newspaper reports by Greg Borowski. From a legal point of view this is flimsy evidence upon which to begin an investigation. DA Martens must have privately thought DA McCann was out of line in January of 2005 for investigating election fraud and voter fraud in the City of Milwaukee. DA Martens does not believe it is the place of a County DA to investigate election official breaking Wisconsin election law.
Clearly, on this front (election law), DA McCann was a much better prosecutor than DA Martens is.