Panel recommends suspension for Fox Crossing judge Len Kachinsky

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A panel of judges from the Wisconsin Judicial Commission has recommended Fox Crossing Municipal Judge Leonard Kachinsky be suspended for misconduct.

The three-judge panel on Feb. 26 recommended that Kachinsky be suspended for a "period of at least one year but not more than three years." The final decision will be made by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The judges also recommend that Kachinsky not be able to serve as a reserve judge in Fox Crossing as long as a woman he was accused of stalking works there as a clerk.

The recommendation was made in response to to a ethics complaint filed against Kachinsky. After an evidentiary hearing, the panel concluded that Kachinsky violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

"We have found multiple acts in violation of the judicial code of conduct thus demonstrating that Judge Kachinsky's misconduct was not an isolated occurrence but a pattern of conduct," the panel states.

Kachinsky's current term expires on April 30. He was suspended by the Wisconsin Supreme Court after he was arrested in a criminal stalking case. Kachinsky was found not guilty by a jury and has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reinstate him for the remainder of his term. No decision has been made by the high court.

Kachinsky announced that he would not seek re-election, but could be called to serve as a reserve judge.

"The only factors that weigh in Judge Kachinsky's favor are that he has long served as a municipal judge and this proceeding is the first judicial disciplinary complaint filed against him."

In the criminal case, Kachinsky was found not guilty of stalking his court clerk. On Dec. 10, a jury returned a unanimous verdict after three days of testimony in Winnebago County.

The clerk had claimed Kachinsky started harassing her in April of 2017, then retaliated against her to the point of serving her with termination papers and describing knowledge about where her extended relatives live, according to a criminal complaint.

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."

Kachinsky, a former attorney, was featured in the Netflix series "Making A Murderer." He served as Brendan Dassey's attorney as he stood trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach.