Here Are Summaries Of Deals Biskupic Made
Sunday, July 13, 2003
Outagamie County District Attorney Vince Biskupic made
individuals in exchange for large donations in both charged and
uncharged cases. The uncharged cases were kept secret. No documents
were filed in court and no judge reviewed the deals.
Dee J. Hall and Andy Hall Wisconsin State Journal
In the charged cases, Biskupic sometimes kept his deals
secret even from the judges hearing the cases.
Here are examples of both charged and uncharged deals, drawn
documents obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal under the open
records law and a review of court and police records. In some cases,
Biskupic and his successor, Carrie Schneider, withheld the names of the
potential defendants and key information, such as attorneys' names,
alleged crime and the amount of the donations.
All of the deals
included donations to a local police agency, anti-crime group or
Biskupic's DA Crime Prevention and Awards fund, over which Biskupic had
sole control. None of the deals called for restitution to the alleged
* 1996: Floyd Banks avoids a felony charge of
perjury for allegedly lying in a divorce case by paying $5,000 to four
police and court programs. Eight others who don't sign deals are
charged and convicted -- seven for felonies and an eighth for a
* 1997: An unnamed individual agrees to pay $2,000
to a fund Biskupic controlled in his office. The individual avoids
unspecified drug charges. Biskupic withheld the name of the individual
and the attorney.
* 1999: Two Appleton North High School
students avoid charges for allegedly vandalizing the school. One pays
$500 to the Harbor House domestic-abuse shelter and agrees to 200 hours
of community service. The other pays $2,500 in "donations," including
$800 to Beat the Heat, a police anti-crime program.
* 2000: A
Green Bay sign executive avoids charges of criminal damage to property
and grand theft by paying $8,000 to Harbor House. John Mortensen told
the State Journal in an October 2002 interview that he felt "shaken
down" by Biskupic. The case stemmed from a business dispute with a car
wash that Mortensen said was resolved nearly two years earlier.
Mortensen said the investigator, Steve Malchow of Biskupic's office, is
a friend of the car wash owner, Dale Lamine. Said Mortensen: "He
(Lamine) had friends in the DA's office and, boy, they came after us
hard." Both Lamine and Malchow refused comment.
In an October
interview, Biskupic denied that he coerced Mortensen. "That's an
agreement, and this was negotiated between two lawyers," Biskupic said.
* 2000: A 35-year-old corporate executive from out of state
to Harbor House to avoid charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing
an officer. The man, who asked not to be identified, recently told the
newspaper he was innocent of any crime but felt he had to pay the money
to protect his reputation. The case involved alleged obscene phone
calls to an 18-year-old woman. The Appleton Police Department reports
don't mention the nature, timing and number of the calls and the name
of the alleged victim.
* 2000: James Evans, who owns a Maywood,
Ill., contracting firm, avoids felony charges of making a forged
document and lying to the FBI in a bank robbery case after agreeing to
cooperate with the FBI and paying $3,200, including $1,000 to
Biskupic's fund and $2,200 to area police agencies. Scott Lassar,
then-U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said in a
March 27, 2000, letter to Biskupic that "since you expect to charge
James Evans in Outagamie County with certain state offenses, this
office agrees not to file any federal charges in this district against
Mr. Evans relating to his alleged illegal activities." The current
Outagamie County district attorney, Carrie Schneider, said Evans died
* 2001: A student at a private college agrees to pay
$1,800, including $1,300 to area police agencies and $500 to Biskupic's
fund, to avoid charges of marijuana possession. The defendant's father
told the State Journal he was pleased with the outcome.
Two men, one a former Little Chute resident and the other an Appleton
dentist, avoid charges of patronizing a prostitute by each paying
$1,100 to Biskupic's UW-Madison intern account and $400 to the Appleton
Police Department. The payments were to repay the costs of a John Doe
investigation run by Biskupic into an alleged prostitution ring
operated by Timothy and Todd Ulmen, who were convicted of pandering in
* 2001: Biskupic strikes a deal but keeps all
details of it secret. In records released to the State Journal,
Biskupic blacked out the individual's name, the alleged crime, the
amount of money and the person's attorney. No reason for the deletions
* 2001: An unnamed individual involved in a drug case
pays $2,800 to Biskupic's fund. The name of the person's lawyer also is
deleted in records released to the newspaper.
* 2002: Another
Appleton dentist avoids unspecified charges for allegedly attempting to
kiss a job applicant by paying $2,000 to a Menasha sexual-assault
crisis center and agreeing to counseling. Police reports say the victim
reported that the dentist "stopped when she said no and she was not
touched inappropriately." Both the dentist and his attorney declined
* 1996: Gary Stein, 49, of
Appleton, charged with importing child pornography, has his charges
reduced to attempted importation of child pornography after agreeing to
$10,000 in donations, including $1,000 to Biskupic's fund. The deal is
OK'd by Judge James Bayorgeon.
* 1998: While serving as a
special prosecutor for Winnebago County, Biskupic recommends that a
charge of disorderly conduct be dismissed against prominent Oshkosh car
dealer Arthur Pommerening, 66, after Pommerening agrees to pay $600 to
Biskupic's fund. The criminal complaint alleges Pommerening attacked a
motorist in a road-rage incident.
* 1999: Glen Gostas, 37, of
Appleton, has a charge of theft from employment dismissed after
agreeing to make $5,000 in donations, including $925 to Biskupic's
fund. The deal, struck with Gostas and his attorney, is kept secret
from the judge in the case, John Des Jardins. Court documents show
Gostas, a delivery driver, acknowledged taking $14,000 from his
employer and its clients.
* 2001: Biskupic strikes a secret deal
with a Lawrence University student, Sean Kilgore, 20, to withdraw three
felony trafficking counts for selling $60 -- half an ounce -- of
marijuana and replace them with misdemeanor possession charges after
Kilgore agrees to give $4,000 to Beat the Heat, a police anti-crime
group. The deal with the Eagan, Minn., man is kept secret from Judge
Michael Gage and is reached after a state law takes effect banning
prosecutors from lowering or dismissing charges in exchange for