Police union accuses Blank of unethical actions
The Superior Police Department's union issued a news release Tuesday charging longtime Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank, who is running for judge, with acting in a "subversive and unethical manner."...
The Superior Police Department's union issued a news release Tuesday charging longtime Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank, who is running for judge, with acting in a "subversive and unethical manner."
Wisconsin Professional Police Association Local 27 alleged that Blank attempted to obtain private union meeting minutes from a union member, according to the statement signed by WPPA Local 27 Union President Gary Gothner.
The union has endorsed Blank's opponent Kelly Thimm for the Douglas County Circuit Court judgeship. Thimm works in Blank's office as an assistant district attorney.
"I did nothing subversive or unethical," Blank said. "Merely asked a union member if it would be appropriate for me to have access to the minutes of the endorsement meeting so I could satisfy my curiosity about how many people were there, what the nature of the discussion was, and in part, to find out maybe what was fueling the quote that he gave you -- the union president gave you -- on the day of my announcement."
Gothner told the News Tribune in November that the police union had a "strained" relationship with Blank and sometimes disagreed with his charging decisions and plea agreements.
Blank has been the Douglas County DA for 18 years. He announced his candidacy for judgeship in November. The general election is April 7.
Gothner's Tuesday statement alleges that Blank's attempt to learn what happened at the endorsement meeting was "an unethical attempt to discredit the union endorsement of Thimm ... and the police union in general."
The union said a second polling of its membership on Monday resulted in Thimm being endorsed 38-1 over Blank with five abstentions, reaffirming the union's earlier endorsement of Thimm.
None of the union officers could be reached for comment on Tuesday.