Judge’s municipal case dismissed, criminal charges pending

A municipal case against 17th Circuit Associate Judge Patrick L. Heaslip was dismissed Oct. 17. Heaslip was charged with knowingly permitting underage alcohol consumption stemming from a July 29 party at Heaslip’s summer home in Lake Mills, Wis.

Police initially responded to an altercation that took place in the street near the home. According to the Stipulation and Application for Dismissal, an underage male partygoer was arrested in the altercation and had a .09 blood alcohol content (BAC).

An underage female, whose BAC was .10, told police she’d brought alcohol from home and did not think Heaslip was aware she’d been drinking at the party.

According to City Attorney Vicky L. Schmidt, a keg of beer had been present on a screened-in porch. Witnesses, however, were willing to testify no underage drinking had occurred, adding the keg had been within sight of adults during the entire party.

One witness reported Heaslip told underage guests the alcohol was off limits, but soda had been provided for those younger than 21.

“The prosecution has no evidence to present from any other witness that underage drinking was even occurring at the defendant’s residence,” Schmidt stated, “and no evidence is available to show clearly and convincingly that the defendant knew that underage drinking was occurring and that he failed to prevent it or that he permitted it.”

W.E. Kiessling Jr. signed the order of dismissal, but Heaslip still faces charges in Jefferson County on a Sept. 12 complaint.

“Our office has filed a criminal case against Mr. Heaslip,” Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Brookelle Teuber told The Rock River Times. “This case alleges two separate criminal charges.”

The disorderly conduct charge, a Class B misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 maximum fine. The Class A misdemeanor, for obstructing an officer, could bring up to a $10,000 fine and nine months in jail.

Heaslip’s son, Mitchell, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge and two counts of battery related to the altercation in the street. Heaslip is alleged to have called arresting officers “dumb hick cops” during the incident.

Lake Mills Police Chief Kathleen Hansen told The Rock River Times she’d been advised not to comment about the matter.

Both Heaslips entered “not guilty” pleas Oct. 23. Pre-trial conferences are slated for Nov. 1 in both cases.

Neither Heaslip nor his attorney, Michael C. Witt, returned calls by time of publication.

Chief Judge Kathryn Zenoff reassigned Heaslip in August to civil matters not involving police officers or juveniles.

From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, issue

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