JUNEAU — The Dodge County District Attorney’s office has declined to prosecute Vicki Zick, former president of the village of Johnson Creek, on a citizen complaint that she had a conflict of interest while acting as village president.
The complaint stated that, while working as president, Zick was also advocating as an attorney on the legal behalf of a client who was entering into agreements with the village.
Attorney Robert G. Barrington, manager in the Dodge County District Attorney’s office, said however, he would file a grievance with the state Office of Lawyer Regulation regarding the alleged conflict.
“While I cannot speak for that office, I can assure you that they take such grievances seriously, and will take whatever action they deem appropriate,” Barrington said.
Greg Schopp, a Johnson Creek resident, alleged in a complaint that Zick took action as village president in a matter that she had a financial interest in, a violation of state law. As an attorney, she represented a limited liability company that was at the time negotiating with the village — in effect representing both sides of the negotiations.
Barrington was assigned the case after the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office recused itself because of a potential conflict of interest.
Barrington said a further investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department indicated Zick had been the subject of a grievance to the office of lawyer regulation in 2009 for the same issue as Schopp raised in the second complaint early this month.
At that time, Barrington said Zick was placed on a one-year diversion agreement on April 20, 2009, “the purpose of which (was) to enable Attorney Zick to avoid future concerns of that kind brought to our attention.”
Barrington also noted that Zick prepared a warranty deed as an attorney for a land transfer agreement with Jim Kuehn Enterprise, Inc. and the village of Johnson Creek. Barrington noted that this was a week after the OLR diversion period had ended.
Barrington also said Schopp could independently take his complaint to the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office if he would have preferred to go that route.
Zick was defeated in the recent election by new village President Michelle Kaltenberg.