State Dismisses Complaint Alleging Happ Mishandled Case As Jefferson County DA

Victim Of Sexual Molestation Said Happ Cut Plea Deal With Her Assailant Because Of Real Estate Deal

Susan Happ posing with her former rivals from the Democratic primary for attorney general. Photo courtesy of Susan Happ Facebook page.

A Wisconsin Supreme Court agency that handles allegations of lawyer misconduct has rejected a complaint alleging that Susan Happ, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General, mishandled a sexual molestation case as Jefferson County district attorney.

The complaint, which was filed by the victim of the molestation, claimed that Happ cut a plea deal with the man charged for the crime because he owed Happ money for a house he had bought from her. This week, the Office of Lawyer Regulation sent a letter to the victim saying Happ followed accepted ethical guidelines in the case and there was no basis for proceeding with any further investigation.

During an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday, Happ said that ruling vindicates her actions.

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“I screened myself off as soon as I saw the name and it was assigned to another assistant district attorney in the office, which is what our ethical rules require,” said Happ.

During a debate on Sunday night, the Republican candidate for attorney general Brad Schimel accused Happ of lying about her involvement in the case. On Monday, Schimel’s campaign released a statement saying the Office of Lawyer Regulation’s letter doesn’t mean Happ is off the hook, since the victim could still appeal her complaint. The campaign said that Happ’s handling of the case doesn’t pass the smell test.

Happ told the Journal Sentinel that in the future, she would be hypersensitive to cases where she has a conflict of interest. She nevertheless said she believes she handled this case appropriately.