Monday, November 27, 2006

Schultz Appeals Conviction

Sherry Schultz last week appealed the conviction for her role in the caucus scandal in the Fourth District Court of Appeals.

Schultz's lawyer argues in the brief that her case presents "novel issues regarding the constitutional rights" of jury instructions and "presents questions of substantial statewide importance."

Notably, the appeal says the jury was not given instructions with the language "to act with the intent to obtain a dishonest advantage is to act 'corruptly.' The term corruptly is normally associated with wrongful, immoral, depraved or evil. It is to act knowingly and dishonestly," thus violating her constitutional rights of convicting her of the felony "misconduct in office" charge.

Schultz also argues that Dane County Judge Steven Ebert illegally inferred presumed facts from the evidence in the jury instructions by saying if the jury "determined that a 'state resource' was used to assist and promote a candidate, then the candidate obtained a 'dishonest advantage,' thus not proving Schultz had corrupt intent.

Schultz's lawyers also argued that the reliance on the Jensen and Chvala decisions was erroneous and the conditions of Schultz's probation denied her constitutional rights.

*See the appeal: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/App_Brief.pdf
*See the appeal appendix: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/App_Appendix.pdf

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Greater Wisconsin Committee Files Dismissal Motion of Van Hollen Defamation Claim

Lawyers for the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, a part of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, say Attorney General-elect J.B. Van Hollen's claim that a campaign ad defamed the Republican should be dismissed because he can't prove that it is false or defamatory.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee's ad questioned Van Hollen's handling of the Stanley Newago case, specifically whether then Bayfield County DA Van Hollen should have revoked Newago's bail. Newago was free on bail when Van Hollen became Bayfield DA in December 1999. Newago killed a girl in February 2000.

The GWPF dismissal motion says Van Hollen hasn't disputed the ad's claim that he didn't question the Newago release or tryto revoke his bail in the eight weeks between taking over as DA and the murder, and argues that Van Hollen's claim that he had no legal basis to revoke bail "states a legal conclusion, not a claim for defamation."

The dismissal motion also claims that Van Hollen has not met the standard for defamation because he has failed to show the advertisement caused him to lose votes.

The attorneys also filed a motion for change of venue from Bayfield County, disputing Van Hollen's claim that the commercial ran in that county. In fact, the ad aired only on Milwaukee, Rhinelander and Wausau stations, which don't reach Bayfield County via broadcast or cable systems, the motion argues.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Jensen Restitution Set at $190,000

Lost in this week's Democratic avalanche was the restitution order turned out by the judge in the caucus scandal case on Tuesday. Judge Steven Ebert handed out a total of $306,391 in restitution to the three defendants convicted of orchestrating an operation to use state workers on state time for campaign activities.

Ebert ordered former GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen pay back $190,521. Former Assembly Majority Leader Steve Foti and caucus worker Sherry Schultz were ordered to pay $57,935 each.

See a previous story: http://blogs.wispolitics.com/legal/2006/10/caucus-scandal-prosecutors-files.html

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