- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014
Wisconsin AG candidates debate police issues

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (AP) - The top four candidates for Wisconsin attorney general agreed that heroin is the state’s top public safety issue during a debate Saturday at the Wisconsin Professional Police Association annual meeting.

Democrats Jon Richards, Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne and Republican Brad Schimel shared common ground on the new law requiring outside investigations of police-involved deaths, collective bargaining rights of public safety workers and protecting children from Internet crimes.

They sparred over whether to criminalize first-offense OWIs.

The board of the nearly 10,000-member WPPA, which endorsed Republican J.B. Van Hollen in 2006 and 2010, soon will vote on which candidate to endorse in this race, and Saturday’s debate was the first time the four candidates have debated together.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Gov. Scott Walker scaled back collective bargaining rights for most public employees but excluded public safety employees. Every candidate said Saturday they would defend bargaining rights for law enforcement.

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Marquette prof to lead Sports Lawyers Association

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Matt Mitten, a professor at Marquette University’s law school, recently was named the next president of the Sports Lawyers Association, a 1,700-member organization for those who practice and teach sports law.

Sports law applies general law fields - labor, contract, tax and intellectual property, etc. - to the wide world of athletics. The lawyers who practice it are generally distinct from sports agents, and might serve as general counsel for a sports team or a personal lawyer for professional athletes.

Mitten’s two-year term with the association begins next year. He sat down this week with The Associated Press to discuss current issues ranging from Donald Sterling, unionization efforts by college players and the increasing number of lawsuits tied to youth leagues and injuries.

DONALD STERLING

Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, will battle in court over whether his recorded racist comments, which he says were taped without his knowledge, give the NBA the right to seize his team. His wife has reached an agreement to sell the Clippers for a record $2 billion, while Sterling’s lawyers have filed a federal lawsuit against the league and Commissioner Adam Silver.

Mitten said Sterling could have a decent chance in court if he argues that the league was imposing an unfairly draconian punishment, Mitten said.

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12-year-old girl stabbed in Waukesha

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - Police in southeastern Wisconsin are investigating the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl.

According to Waukesha police, a passerby called police at about 9:50 a.m. Saturday to report a 12-year-old girl had been stabbed. Officers from the police and fire department found the girl and took her to a local hospital, where she was in stable condition Saturday.

The police department says various law enforcement agencies searched some nearby woods for evidence and suspects in the stabbing.

Police say they have two people in custody who are known to the victim.

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Family of Neillsville man shot by cop files claim

NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (AP) - The family of a man fatally shot by a Neillsville police officer has filed a claim asking the city and the officer for a $2 million settlement.

Officer Aaron Bembnister responded to a domestic disturbance call Dec. 13. According to a prosecutor’s report, Ricky Taylor ignored commands to drop a knife. The report says Bembnister retreated as far as he could when he shot Taylor. Clark County District Attorney Lyndsey Boon Brunette has said Bembnister was justified in using deadly force.

The report said Taylor’s blood alcohol content was 0.198 percent, more than double Wisconsin’s legal limit to drive.

The claim filed Friday alleges the city was negligent in training officers to respond to a person “experiencing an emotional crisis and/or who was intoxicated,” according to the News-Herald Media (https://mnhne.ws/1ruQtBm). The claim also alleges that Bembnister, failed to “act with reasonable care so as to not jeopardize the health and welfare of Ricky Taylor” and that Bembnister used excessive force.

Neillsville city attorney Bonnie Wachsmuth said the city had not been served by Friday afternoon and had no comment. A message left at Wachsmuth’s office Saturday was not immediately returned.

After the serving of the claim, the city will have 180 days to respond, said James R. Koby, the family’s attorney. If the claim is denied, the family intends to file a civil suit against the city, Koby said.

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