March 17, 2013
Judge dismisses Harley dealer's lawsuit against John Doe prosecutor
A judge has dismissed the lawsuit of a Rice Lake Harley-Davidson dealer who claimed his forced subpoenaed appearance at a John Doe hearing in Milwaukee amounted to false imprisonment.
Christopher Brekken sued Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf last fall over the prosecutor's attempts in 2010 to get records from Brekken's dealership regarding some credit card purchases there. Brekken claimed that despite very involved attempts, he could not get the desired information. He said Landgraf got a bench warrant to make Brekken come to court in Milwaukee and testify to the those efforts under oath.
Brekken, 46, contends Landgraf had a vendetta against him because Brekken hung up on him when Landgraf first called to try and get the credit card information.
According to online court records, Barron County Circuit Judge Timothy Doyle dismissed the suit after a telephone hearing on Monday. Though Landgraf - who was being defended by the state Justice Department - first sought dismissal on the grounds he was improperly served, Doyle also noted that Landgraf was doing Milwaukee County business at the times of the contested actions, suggesting he found the prosecutor immune from the claim.
The nearly three-year John Doe investigation was shut down officially last month. It led to charges against six people, including three former staffers of then-County Executive Scott Walker, plus a Walker appointee and a major campaign contributor.
At the time of Brekken's suit, Walker's spokesman said he didn't know Brekken or whether he played any role in Walker's gubernatorial campaign.
As county executive, Walker took annual motorcycle tours around Wisconsin to promote Milwaukee County, including in 2009 and 2010 when he was also running for governor.
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