WAUPACA, Wis. (WFRV) – The Waupaca County District Attorney sent out a letter to defense attorneys notifying them of recent testimony by members of the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office that the department ‘regularly’ alters records.
According to a letter sent to defense attorneys, the Waupaca County District Attorney said that the State has certain evidence that shows a Waupaca County Sheriff Captain altered a report. The report was authored by a deputy, and the alteration reportedly removed exculpatory information.
Exculpatory means to be freed from blame.
The Captain was Julie Thobaben, and she testified to her actions. Waupaca County Sheriff Tim Wilz also testified on Feb. 22 saying this practice is done ‘regularly’ at the Sheriff’s department. It was also mentioned that evidence of any changes were not preserved.
In the letter, it says there is only one case where they are certain a report was changed. Officials say the sworn testimony that this happens ‘regularly’ is concerning.
We pride ourselves on upholding an extremely high ethical standard in our charging decisions and prosecution of criminal cases. The loss of someone’s liberty is a tremendous responsibility that we do not take lightly. The Courts have been notified of this information. We want to make sure you are aware so that you can have an appropriate discussion with your client prior to and during the determination whether to proceed to a plea and/or sentencing.Veronica Isherwood – Waupaca County District Attorney
The full letter that was sent to defense attorneys can be viewed here.
Local 5 reached out again to Waupaca County District Attorney Veronica Isherwood and says she won’t comment publically on the letter, but said this,
The right thing to do is rarely the easy thing to do. My legal obligation is to notify defense attorneys and I have done so. I and my staff will continue our hard work and do everything in our power to seek justice for victims and protect the community from harm while honoring our legal obligations and the constitutional rights of defendents.Veronica Isherwood – Waupaca County District Attorney
Thobaben reportedly started her career with the Sheriff’s Office as an E911 dispatcher and was promoted to patrol deputy. She later took the position of Detective Sergeant in 2013. In 2019 she was promoted again to Detective Captain.
No additional information was provided, Local 5 will continue to update this story.