CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Ozanne admits to alcohol-related incident when he was 16
A second candidate for Wisconsin attorney general has admitted an alcohol-related incident from decades ago. Democrat Ismael Ozanne, the Dane County district attorney, said he was cited in 1986 after he got into an accident when he was 16. Earlier this week, we learned that Republican attorney general candidate Brad Schimel was cited for O-W-I in 1990. Ozanne did not get a drunk driving ticket. He was cited under the state's "not a drop" law that prohibits those under 21 from having any alcohol in their systems while behind-the-wheel. He said it was fortunate that nobody was hurt in the crash, and it taught him valuable lessons. The other candidate in the race, Assembly Democrat Jon Richards of Milwaukee, says old teenage mistakes are irrelevant in this year's campaign. Richards said the important thing is to crack down on drunk driving now. Richards voted in favor of a package of bills in the Assembly, one of which would make all second-offenses criminal misdemeanors. He said he prefers those measures to making first-time O-W-I a crime. Schimel said he was skeptical about criminalizing one-time drunk driving. Ozanne has said he favors the idea.
Criminal and civil offenders have more than picked up the tab for the prosecutions against them -- at least in eastern Wisconsin. U-S Attorney James Santelle of Milwaukee said his office collected nine-point-seven million dollars in criminal-and-civil fines in fiscal 2013. That's more than the eight-million it cost to operate the federal prosecutor's office. About five-million of the collections were criminal fines. Four-point-seven million were civil penalties. Also, Santelle said his office recovered three-million dollars in defendants' assets. That money is given to crime victims, and it supports various law enforcement activities. Santelle gave the example of a business that had a million-dollars embezzled. His office was able to return money to the employer by seizing-and-selling the defendant's house, retirement accounts, and wine collection.
Federal-and-state investigators are helping Dane County authorities look into a fire at an apartment complex that killed one woman and injured another. It happened Wednesday night at a 16-unit building in Waunakee. The apartment where the fire started is a total loss, and several others have heavy smoke damage. Total damage is tentatively estimated at 100-thousand dollars. An autopsy was being conducted yesterday on a 56-year-old woman who died in the blaze. Her name was not immediately released. A 65-year-old woman was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Dane County authorities said 10-to-15 residents were evacuated, and two nearby churches helped them find places to sleep. Many stayed with relatives, while others were put up at a hotel. The Red Cross is also providing assistance. It's not known when residents could return to the facility. Officials said the fire appeared to start in the kitchen of one of the units. The exact cause remains under investigation.
It's been six-and-a-half years since U-W Whitewater student Kelly Nolan disappeared in Madison -- and the cause of her death has just now been documented. Authorities say a death certificate for the 22-year-old Nolan now indicates that she died from blunt force trauma to the torso, including fractures. Until now, the cause of her death was simply listed as "pending." Investigators said Nolan was out with friends in Madison in June of 2007, and she apparently went off with a man who knew her before she vanished for good. Her body was found a few weeks later in a nearby wooded area. Madison Police believe Nolan was murdered. Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said two detectives continue to pursue leads in the case. One lead cropped up from outside Wisconsin last year. DeSpain said he hopes the new publicity will encourage somebody with information to come forward.
A former bookkeeper in northern Wisconsin will spend two years in prison for stealing 660-thousand dollars from her parents' recreational lake equipment business. 46-year-old Lisa Saykally (psych'-lee) took the money from Aqualand Manufacturing of Woodruff over several years. Oneida County Circuit Judge Patrick O'Melia told her to repay 727-thousand dollars, including tax-related penalties. She was ordered to get full-time employment, among other things, during a lengthy probation and extended supervision. Saykally pleaded no contest to six embezzlement and tax fraud charges. Eleven similar counts were dropped in a plea deal. At her sentencing hearing yesterday, prosecutors said Saykally destroyed her family's trust by using the stolen money for a lavish lifestyle. Her sister-in-law, Nadine Kuehneman (keen-uh-min), told the judge that the business nearly went under, and several people lost jobs due to Saykally's embezzlement. Prosecutors wanted an eight-year prison term. The judge said Saykally needs some prison time -- but she also needs to be working so she can pay back what she stole.
A band director at Merrill High School has resigned, after a female student reported undisclosed allegations last week. 27-year-old Matt Callope was put on paid leave last Friday. Merrill school officials were planning to start an in-depth investigation when Callope quit. The matter has been turned over to Merrill Police. Callope was in his fourth year directing the high school's symphonic band and jazz ensemble. He was also a co-director for a middle school's sixth-grade bands.