Complaint: Judge Len Kachinsky harassed court clerk for a year

Len Kachinsky mug shot
Winnebago County Jail photo

FOX CROSSING, Wis. (WBAY) - Municipal Judge Len Kachinsky finds himself on the other side of the bench as he's charged with a felony count of stalking and two misdemeanor counts of violating a harassment restraining order.

The Winnebago County district attorney filed the charges Wednesday, and a summons was issued for Kachinsky to make his initial appearance on August 6.

If convicted, the charges can total 5 years behind bars.

Kachinsky's court clerk claims he's been harassing her since April of 2017, then retaliated against her to the point of serving her with termination papers in March and describing knowledge about where her extended relatives live.

According to the criminal complaint, the clerk says Kachinsky's behavior became increasingly bizarre after he returned to work after a long illness: Asking her to join in photographs for his daughter, knowing that her mother visited because of her Facebook location, and one time staring at her and making cat noises for 45 minutes. She says after she asked him to keep their relationship professional, he would request meetings but then only discuss personal matter.

She went to village officials, who told Kachinsky repeatedly to stop the harassing behavior. But his interest in her personal life continued.

Then in November, Kachinsky sent her an email citing "continued surveillance by the Administration," and warning about bringing "fire and fury" to the municipal building. The police chief questioned Kachinsky that same day. Kachinsky told the chief he didn't own weapons and didn't mean that phrase in a violent way, but then added if he did have weapons "you would have something."

In December, Kachinsky requested a letter of reprimand be placed in the court clerk's personnel file, saying she never responded positively to a birthday card, Christmas greetings or a Facebook post praising her, or when he brushed snow off her car.

In February, she obtained a restraining order from Winnebago County court to stop the harassing behavior. Police say Kachinsky sent her an email "almost immediately after this hearing."

The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Kachinsky from the bench after he was arrested last week. He was booked at the Winnebago County Jail then released pending formal charges.

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