Former Prosecutor Charged With Accepting Bribes

by TChris

Joseph Paulus, once known as an aggressive, "law and order" prosecutor in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, has been charged in federal court with taking almost two dozen bribes during his days as a district attorney. Paulus allegedly made a deal with a local defense attorney to split the attorney's fees in exchange for lenient treatment of the attorney's clients. The defense attorney worked for Paulus as an assistant DA before entering private practice.

Paulus is also charged with tax evasion. But his wrongdoing didn't end with accepting bribes and failing to report them on his 1040.

Paulus' successor, fellow Republican Bill Lennon, said he was "extremely disappointed" the federal case focused on bribery, which he said was the "tip of the iceberg" when it came to Paulus's 14 years as district attorney from 1988 to 2002.

Lennon wants the state to investigate reports that "Paulus lied to police, judges, victims and other attorneys in his zeal to win cases and generate headlines." Paulus aspired to an appointment as U.S. attorney in 2001, and apparently believed that winning the favorable headlines that come from winning convictions was more important than justice or the constitutional right to a fair trial.

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