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DA accused of sexual harassment to resign

Ken Kratz’s will step down by Oct. 8. Ken Kratz’s will step down by Oct. 8.
Associated Press / September 28, 2010

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CHILTON, Wis. — A Wisconsin prosecutor facing removal from office over accusations that he used his position to seek relationships with women will resign instead, his attorney said yesterday.

Attorney Robert Craanen said Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz will step down before Oct. 8, the date set for a hearing on his possible removal from office.

Craanen spoke to reporters after a meeting at the Chilton courthouse on proceedings Governor Jim Doyle initiated for Kratz’s removal.

Kratz was not present and did not return a phone message.

Kratz, a Republican, had been the top prosecutor in the eastern Wisconsin county south of Green Bay since 1992.

He had faced demands for his resignation since earlier this month, when it was reported he sent text messages to a domestic abuse victim while he was prosecuting her former boyfriend on a strangulation charge.

In the messages, he called the woman a “hot nymph’’ and asked if she was “the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA.’’

Lawmakers, the governor, and victims’ advocates were outraged, and the news only got worse for Kratz.

An Oklahoma law student said she had received similar texts in 2008, after Kratz supported her request for a pardon on an old drug charge.

A woman complained to Doyle’s office that Kratz invited her to a date at an autopsy.

Other women who have stayed anonymous made similar allegations to a local newspaper and a civil rights attorney.

Kratz, 50, announced last week he was on medical leave from his $105,000 per year job indefinitely, and his attorney said he was getting treatment for an undisclosed problem.

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