A state board charged with representing the rights of crime victims said Wednesday that Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz was not candid with the panel, when he described racy text messages he sent to a domestic abuse victim. But the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Board Board said it did not have the power to punish the Calumet County D.A. because of it. Kratz was stepping down as the board’s chairman last December when he said his 30 texts were mutually friendly. But Stephanie Van Groll took those messages to Kaukauna Police because Kratz was pushing for a relationship, and called her a “young hot nymph.”
Kratz resigned from the board after being told to do so by the state Justice Department. That agency investigated the text messages. And while it said no crime was committed, the Justice Department told Kratz to resign from the Crime Victims’ Rights Board and report his behavior to the state’s Office of Lawyer Regulation.
The victims’ rights panel was criticized for not punishing Kratz. But in a statement (PDF), the panel said it never received a complaint about its former chairman – and it does not have the authority to consider sexual harassment cases. The text messages were made public a couple weeks ago, and Kratz first said he would not resign as Calumet County’s chief prosecutor. But he changed his mind after the Governor Jim Doyle initiated procedures to remove him. His attorney said Kratz will resign before October 8th – when a public hearing is scheduled on the removal request.