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U.S. Attorney’s Office Seeks to Bypass Judge
Posted By On July 6, 2009 @ 5:00 pm In News | Comments Disabled
Federal judge J.P. Stadtmueller of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals certainly isn’t trying to make friends at the Eastern District of Wisconsin’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. Acting United States Attorney Michelle Jacobs and Assistant United States Attorney Gordon Giampietro have filed a writ of mandamus to force the judge to recuse himself from a gun case, reports  the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
This marks the second writ of mandamus filed against a Wisconsin judge in five years; it’s also the second one filed against Stadtmueller. The prosecutors are arguing that Stadtmueller tried to coerce them into cutting a deal with the defendant, while Stadtmueller is accusing the prosecutors of “judge-shopping.” According to the court filings, Stadtmueller summoned then-U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic and head of the public defender’s office Daniel Stiller to his chambers to discuss the case, though neither one was directly involved in the case. Stadtmueller lamented that ”there was a lot of blame to go around” and told them that the case was “an embarrassment to the system of justice.” He suggested that the case be settled short of trial, or he would make a decision that satisfied neither party, the filings say.
Stadtmueller has a long history with the office he’s tussling with. He was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1981-1987 under President Ronald Reagan.
Last December, Stadtmueller caused a huge fuss over a routine fraud case, questioning the exact dollar amount of restitution to be paid, even though both parties had agreed to it. The court, on its own initiative, told Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Watzka and Richard Frohling that it wanted United Parcel Service’s Chief Financial Officer to come before the court three days before Christmas to verify the amount of money the company had lost due to the crimes of the defendant Katherine Siewert. When the U.S. Attorneys Office said no go, Stadtmueller took matters into his own hands and called up a security supervisor for UPS to verify the restitution. You can read the Sentinel’s full report here .
In another case, Stadtmueller gave millionaire trucking magnate and Indian casino backer Dennis Troha no fine and six months probation after he was convicted of breaking campaign finance laws. He cited the government’s wasteful spending on the U.S.-Mexican border fence and said:
There is no reason to provide funds to the government, and I respectfully decline to do so.
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