Trempealeau County District Attorney Taavi McMahon did not commit a felony while in office and will not be suspended, according to Gov. Scott Walker’s office.

Taavi McMahon

McMahon

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The Trempealeau County Board earlier this month asked the governor to suspend McMahon and initiate an investigation, accusing McMahon of lying to a judge.

McMahon in a request for a special prosecutor indicated that he had submitted an affidavit to the state Department of Administration supporting a qualifying condition for the appointment, according to the document. Trempealeau County Circuit Court Judge Rian Radtke later signed the form.

The board contends McMahon did not submit the affidavit “as he represented” and violated state law that makes it a felony to knowingly give false information to a court official with the intent to influence. McMahon later rescinded his request.

Walker’s Chief Legal Counsel Katie Ignatowski investigated and determined that McMahon verbally supplemented the request when he informed the judge he had not submitted the affidavit, according to her letter to the board released Wednesday.

“I also find it significant that District Attorney McMahon withdrew his request prior to appointment of a special prosecutor or expenditure of any public funds,” she stated. “Based on this information, I do not believe that a suspension is warranted at this time.”

Ignatowski encouraged the board to contact law enforcement if it believes McMahon violated state law or the Office of Lawyer Regulation.

The county’s executive and finance committee will discuss the matter at its Jan. 3 meeting.

The governor’s office did not address other issues raised against McMahon by the board, including claims that he is largely absent from the office and that he reassigned cases to himself after he ordered his assistant out of the office for two weeks.

The board in early December called on McMahon to resign, citing his unwillingness to resolve personnel issues in his office, the board having lost confidence in his abilities to act as district attorney, and “the disruption you are causing to the county and other county departments.”

McMahon refused, stating: “The people of Trempealeau County elected me to represent them in all criminal proceedings, and that is exactly what I will continue to do.”

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Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at ajungen@lacrossetribune.com or 608-791-8224.

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