- Rationale

Introduction

The purpose of this site is to track a series of criminal and ethics complaints against numerous individuals affiliated with the University of Wisconsin System. The law appears to provide for criminal remedies to misconduct on behalf of these individuals, and ethics rules appear to provide additional remedies for any unethical behavior on the part of attorneys.

These complaints are intended to bring accountability and integrity to a culture that clearly lacks both. Civil remedies usually result in settlements that include nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses, and these bring no accountability to the University - they are free to continue to act in exactly the same way as they did before the settlement.

The complaints found on this site have all been filed with law enforcement. In some ways they are tests of the system, and these complaints raise many questions. Do the statutes mean what they say? Are public employees required to follow the law? Will law enforcement actually enforce those laws on behalf of the people those laws are purported to protect?

And then there are the attorneys who provided counsel to all of these alleged offenders, and in some cases may have committed offenses themselves in their capacities as public employees. Will they be held accountable by law enforcement? Will the Office of Lawyer Regulation hold them accountable?

I think that the citizens of the State of Wisconsin deserve to know exactly where the lines are drawn, and by making all of this documentation available to the public, I hope that those lines will become bright and clear.

The documents, audio and commentary contained in this site are all a matter of public record.

- Kopper (click a button to access the file)

Exhibit 609 - Sep 15, 2017 - Walworth County DA

Initial Complaint - Cover Letter
Commentary:

This was mailed to the Office of the District Attorney.

Exhibit 610 - Sep 15, 2017 - Walworth County DA

Initial Complaint with Exhibits
Commentary:

This was mailed to the Office of the District Attorney.

Exhibit 611 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Initial Contact
Commentary:

I was contacted by phone by Detective Robert Schiltz of the Walworth County Sheriff's Office, who had questions and asked me to sent him certain follow-up documentation.

Exhibit 612 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Email

Exhibit 613 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This is the email thread between me and Chief Kiederlen of the UWW Police.

- Can law enforcement refuse to investigate a legitimate felony complaint?

Exhibit 614 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Email

Exhibit 615 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This is a draft complaint that I had never filed, but which covers all of the bases.

Exhibit 616 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Email

Exhibit 617 - Oct 24, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This document outlines what I believed to be evidence of false swearing.

- The District Attorney did not believe this claim could be proven in court, and recommended that I withdraw it, which I did.

Exhibit 618 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Email

Exhibit 620 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This is the original version of the "Meeting Rules of Conduct". It was presented to Dean Mark McPhail and Department Chair Renee Melton by then-provost Beverly Kopper and then-Director of Human Resources Judith Trampf.

Exhibit 619 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This includes an annotated version of a document called "Meeting Rules of Conduct".

- Although not a legal question, is it appropriate for an administration to impose special and unique rules on a single department? Do these proposed rules have any resemblance to legitimate shared governance?

Exhibit 621 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This is a copy of a complaint filed against me by Susan Messer and Renee Melton.

Exhibit 622 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This is a copy of a complaint filed against me by Susan Messer and Renee Melton.

Exhibit 623 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachments
Commentary:

This is the report of the investigator recommending dismissal of the aforementioned complaints by Messer and Melton.

Exhibit 624 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Email
Commentary:

This relates to the veracity of Investigator's reports.

Exhibit 625 - Nov 7, 2017 - Investigation

Follow-up Documents Attachment
Commentary:

This is an annotated version of the investigator's report, pointing out inaccuracies.

- Could the misconduct in public office statutes regarding falsification be applied to such circumstances?

Exhibit 626 - Nov 9, 2017 - Investigation

A Question About Perjury
Commentary:

Having listened to audio files of testimony given in my absence at a disciplinary hearing, I had questions.

- Can the perjury statutes be applied to disciplinary hearings, especially if those hearings are authorized by statute and the witnesses affirm that their testimony will be truthful?

Exhibit 627 - Nov 10, 2017 - Investigation

More About Perjury
Commentary:

I inform the investigator about video testimony by a high-ranking University official who makes clear that I was "required not to be there" at department meetings.

Exhibit 628 - Dec 1, 2017 - Investigation

Disability Concerns
Commentary:

This document shows that the University was not excluding me from meetings on the basis of my disability.

Exhibit 629 - Jan 15, 2017 - Investigation

Status Update

Exhibit 630 - Feb 12, 2018 - Investigation

Amendment to Complaint
Commentary:

Following a settlement proposal in which the University offered me the opportunity to retire before the Regents ruled (which I could have done anyway) in exchange for withdrawing these complaints from the District Attorney's Office, I felt an obligation to let the DA know that I had no intention of withdrawing a criminal complaint which was already under investigation.

- How does a request to get me to withdraw a criminal complaint in exchange for consideration not constitute attempted bribery?

Exhibit 631 - Mar 4, 2018 - Investigation

Addition to the Complaint
Commentary:

The University suggested I was not a duly-appointed member of the Department and that therefore I could be excluded from meetings.

Exhibit 632 - Apr 3, 2018 - Investigation

Miscommunication
Commentary:

I believe the perjury complaints are separate from the open meetings complaint (different offenses by different individuals). Apparently the investigator had put his other investigation on hold in anticipation of my further perjury allegations.

Exhibit 633 - Apr 16, 2018 - Investigation

More on Perjury
Commentary:

The investigator indicates that he will move forward on investigation of the initial allegations.

Exhibit 634 - May 21, 2018 - Investigation

Timeline Spreadsheet
Commentary:

At this point I seem to be doing the detective's work for him, but whatever moves things along.

Exhibit 635 - Jul 25, 2018 - Investigation

Continuing Violations
Commentary:

Now a colleague is being compelled to be excluded from meetings in exchange for disability accommodations.

Exhibit 636 - Jul 26, 2018 - Investigation

Disability Accommodations Policy
Commentary:

Detective Schiltz asked about the policy regarding disability accommodations.

- Can the University impose restrictions that have nothing to do with a disability accommodations request in exchange for the requested accommodations? If the only two people who have had such sanctions placed on them filed disability accommodations requests, is this discrimination based on disability?

Exhibit 637 - Jul 26, 2018 - Investigation

Disability Accommodations Policy - Attachment
Commentary:

This is an earlier letter of accommodation in which the University states that "You are not expected or required to attend Art and Design Departmental meetings." This demonstrates that the University was able to devise language the released someone from attendance but did not explicitly bar them from attendance.

Exhibit 638 - Jul 30, 2018 - Investigation

Continuing Violations
Commentary:

This demonstrates that Department Chair James Bronson and Dean Eileen Hayes attempted to violate Porcaro's right to attend meetings, his right to vote on matters of concern to him, and his first amendment rights to speak on matters of public concern.

Exhibit 639 - Jul 30, 2018 - Investigation

Amendment to Complaint
Commentary:

I formally ask the detective to add a complaint against Bronson and Hayes as a witness to what occurred to Porcaro.

Exhibit 640 - Aug 2, 2018 - Investigation

Clarification of Open Meetings Law
Commentary:

I had been under the impression that only people who attended illegal meetings could be fines, but I was wrong.

Exhibit 641 - Aug 12, 2018 - Investigation

Concerns About Progress

Exhibit 642 - Aug 28, 2018 - Investigation

More Concerns About Progress

Exhibit 643 - Oct 17, 2018 - Investigation

More Concerns About Progress

Exhibit 644 - Oct 23, 2018 - Investigation

Progress At Last
Commentary:

Finally, after 390 days of investigation into whether Kopper authored a letter mandating that I not attend meetings of a governmental body of which I was a member, and threatening my income and job if I did not comply, the matter was sent to the district attorney.

- I recognize that complaints that do not affect public safety are likely to take a back seat to those that do, but 390 days?

Exhibit 691 - Dec 17, 2018 - Disposition

District Attorney Declines
Commentary:

This seems pretty clear. The District Attorney of Walworth County, Zeke Wiedenfeld, after 14 months investigating the contents of a single offending letter, has determined there is insufficient evidence that I was barred from meetings by the language of that very letter: "the necessary proof is simply not available".

- Fortunately, the law permits me to file directly with the courts in the name of the citizens of the State of Wisconsin, so I will do just that.

Exhibit 692 - Dec 17, 2018 - Disposition

Response District Attorney
Commentary:

This pretty much speaks for itself.

- Contents - Criminal Complaints

Rationale
On the Legal Aspects of University Disciplinary Proceedings in Wisconsin

A brief study on the applicability of the statutes and case law

First Attempt - UWW Police
February 9, 2017 - February 16, 2017 (Closed)

Violations of open meeting law, felony extortion

Kopper et al - Walworth County District Attorney
September 28, 2017 - December 11, 2018 (Closed after 440 days)

Violations of open meeting law, felony extortion, felony misconduct in public office

Portman et al - Walworth County District Attorney
November 9, 2018 - present ( 196 days and counting... )

Violations of Faculty Personnel Rules, felony misconduct in public office

Kuhl and Stokes - Walworth County District Attorney
November 17, 2018 - present ( 188 days and counting... )

Violations of open records law, felony misconduct in public office

Klein et al - Dane County District Attorney
December 3, 2018 - present ( 172 days and counting... )

Violations of UWS 4, felony misconduct in public office

Lathrop - Dane County District Attorney
December 3, 2018 - present ( 172 days and counting... )

Falsificiation of public records, felony misconduct in public office

Lind - Dane County District Attorney
December 7, 2018 - present ( 168 days and counting... )

Falsificiation of public records, felony misconduct in public office

Kumpaty et al - Walworth County District Attorney
December 14, 2018 - present ( 161 days and counting... )

Violations of Faculty Personnel Rules, felony misconduct in public office

Olson et al - Walworth County District Attorney
December 15, 2018 - present ( 160 days and counting... )

Violations of UWS 4, felony misconduct in public office

Mertens - Walworth County District Attorney
December 15, 2018 - present ( 160 days and counting... )

Perjury, felony misconduct in public office

Various Complaints - Walworth County District Attorney
December 16, 2018 - present ( 159 days and counting... )

Various offenses, felony misconduct in public office

View Ethics Complaints

Additional complaints will be added as they are filed, and existing complaints will be updated as they progress.