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Wisconsin Supreme Court suspends judge accused of harassment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week suspended a Fox Crossing municipal judge who was arrested on preliminary charges of stalking and violating a temporary restraining order involving a court clerk who alleges he harassed her.

USA Today Network-Wisconsin reports Leonard Kachinsky was booked into jail Monday and later released with no charge. The Supreme Court on Tuesday barred Kachinsky from exercising the powers of a municipal judge until further notice, saying it’s been informed he cannot “properly discharge his official duties.” The Wisconsin Judicial Commission had filed a complaint with the court in April.

A Winnebago County prosecutor told the news organization that a charging decision will likely come next week. Kachinsky’s court clerk has alleged he harassed her and retaliated against her.

Kachinsky is a former lawyer for Brendan Dassey, who was convicted of rape and murder and featured in the “Making a Murderer” series on Netflix. Kachinsky didn’t immediately return a telephone message requesting comment from The Associated Press.

In June, a judge reissued a restraining order against Kachinsky that limits his contact with the clerk to work-related functions and restricts communication to work subjects. The order also mandates a third person be there for one-on-one meetings between the clerk and Kachinsky.

Kachinsky wrote in response to the clerk’s restraining order petition that he didn’t intimidate, harass or retaliate against her.

In past court filings, Kachinsky has been accused of staring at the clerk for nearly 40 minutes while making cat noises and filing letters of reprimand against her for such things as not acknowledging Christmas greetings.

James Macy, a lawyer for the village of Fox Crossing, told USA Today Network-Wisconsin that despite the restraining order, recent electronic communication and materials in the office led to the “current situation.”

Kachinsky told the news organization that his posting of a highlighted excerpt from the village’s personnel manual was a reason for his arrest.

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