(AP, WGTD)---The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended Racine County Judge Michael Piontek for 5 days without pay citing “concerning” and “obviously unethical” behavior.
In an unsigned order issued Tuesday, the unanimous court said that Judge Piontek’s judicial misconduct in two cases from 2014 warranted the suspension.
In one case, Judge Piontek called a prosecutor without notifying the defense attorney. In that phone call, Judge Piontek said that any plea negotiation should involve the defendant being convicted of a felony---and---those involved in “scams like this” need to be stopped.
The Supreme Court said that Piontek appeared to only admit his “obviously unethical” behavior after he was caught.
In the case, Piontek did an independent internet investigation and relied on incorrect information at sentencing.
The Supreme Court called it “clearly improper” to conduct the research and not give the defendant’s attorney a chance to respond.
Piontek has apologized for his mistakes.