In this week’s Pierce County Herald, there were several letters to the editor regarding the election for District Attorney, one of which was written on behalf of Mr. Froelich by Bill Rassmussen.
In that letter, he touts the credentials of my opponent, while at the same time insinuating that I have somehow acted in an unethical manner as District Attorney over the last 20 years. Mr. Rassmussen states that my opponent “understands how to prepare a case for prosecution”. He neglects to share the factual basis for that claim. For example, he doesn’t set forth any experience my opponent may have actually prosecuting cases, such as if he acted as a municipal prosecutor anywhere either in Wisconsin or Minnesota, since he is licensed in both states. In addition, no where in my opponent’s political liturature or Facebook page does he supply any facts regarding any experience actually practicing law in a courtroom. He has only been admitted to practice law in Wisconsin since May 10, 2011. In Minnesota, he was admitted to practice in October, 2010. Does he currently practice law anywhere that brings him into a courtroom trying cases? The clear answer to that appears to be “No”. So, where did he gain the courtroom experience necessary to “prepare a case for presecution” that Mr. Rasmussen claims he has?
If he does in fact have any experience practicing law in a courtroom, what is it? Has he ever even handled a criminal case as a defense attorney? When I first ran for District Attorney 20 years ago in 1992, I had 3 years of trial experience handling felony, misdemeanor, criminal traffic and juvenile cases. What experience does he really have? How will he know how to prepare for and try a complex, violent felony case or a domestic violence case, or a drunk driving case when he has no experience practicing law at all.
Mr. Froelich may have been a police officer under Bill Rasmussen’s tenure at the River Falls Police Department, ( which by the way, it really isn’t clear how long he was even a full time police officer) but that does not translate in having the necessary courtroom skills necessary to prosecute complex criminal cases that occur in our community. As the past few weeks have shown, very serious crimes can occur at any time.
If Mr. Rasmussen wants to challenge my ethics as a prosecutor, perhaps he has some specific instances to back up his allegations and insinuations. In my 20 years tenure as District Attorney, I have never had any cases that I personally prosecuted overturned because of prosecutorial error or misconduct. In addition, the Office of Lawyer Regulation has never determined that I have ever acted in an unethical manner. I have also never had any victim file a complaint with the State Victim Right Board against me. In fact, Ms. London’s letter to the editor in the Herald suggests the opposite of Mr. Rasmussen’s insinuations.
Mr. Rasmussen and others, may not have liked the decisions that I have made as District Attorney in the last 20 years, but that is a far cry from acting “unethically”. If Mr. Rasmussen wants to engage in a debate about acting ethically, perhaps he can discuss why he chose not to disclose that he is actually Mr. Froelich’s treasurer. He is hardly an objective observer. Letters such as his really need to be read with a grain of salt.
With regards to Mr. Dhawan’s letter, suggesting a debate, I would welcome that opportunity to debate Mr. Froelich on any topic. Particularly, his lack of experience. Perhaps he would be able to explain to the voters how someone with no courtroom experience is qualified to act as the chief law enforcment agency in Pierce County. Being an effective prosecutor requires the ability to work in a courtroom. Mr. Froelich has no such skills, at least none that he has shared with the public at this point.