Two former Milwaukee County prosecutors were found guilty Thursday of misconduct in public office. One of the prosecutors talked about his role in what's being called a cover-up.
Former prosecutor Antoni Apollo says he's remorseful about what happened. He also told us there's a second side to all this. Things that weren't addressed in court.
Apollo and former prosecutor Kristin Schrank both plead no contest today and were ordered to each pay a $500 fine. The judge told the defendants they made a "foolish mistake." He told them, "the victim in this case is the public confidence in the courts and the legal system."
Last July, Schrank dismissed a case filed against a man accused of injuring a Fox Point police officer during an arrest. That decision came under question because of who gave advice to the officer working on that case. Schrank was the on call prosecutor, but Apollo answered the phone. He told the officer he was an intern in the DA's office and advised the officer. That former intern was in court Thursday.
Adam VandenHeuvel said, "my name is now in a complaint for charges of misconduct in public office. They made a mistake, and then told lie after lie after lie to try to avoid being caught and punished."
When Apollo answered the on call phone, he was no longer working for the DA's office. A few days after that call, Schrank dismissed the case. At one point Schrank sent a text to Apollo saying, "this is so bad. I think we need to come clean." Apollo responded "never."
After Thursday's sentencing Apollo told us, "by no means am I saying that anything that either attorney Schrank or myself did was correct, but there's a lot more to this. There's politics, there's personal agendas, there's personal vendettas."
Court documents say Schrank claimed she dismissed the case because the officer used excessive force during the arrest. An investigator with the DA's office found those claims were unsubstantiated.
Apollo left the DA's office last March. Schrank resigned last October.
The next step in all this is with the state. The Office of Lawyer Regulation will start its own investigation to determine if Schrank and Apollo can keep their law license.