Kenosha PD accused of 'corruption, lies, multiple evidence plantings'

Posted at 6:49 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 22:49:03-04

"Corruption, lies, multiple evidence plantings and deceit existed throughout the entire Kenosha criminal justice system."

Those are the words from a Wisconsin Supreme Court investigator looking into claims of misconduct.

The state court assigned attorney Dennis Flynn to investigate claims against former Kenosha County District Attorney Robert Zapf. Zapf retired last year, but the former DA is accused of failing to fully disclose information regarding a police officer planting evidence in a murder case, failing to disclose another officer's testimony was incomplete and falsely claiming that he had no "personal knowledge" of evidence being planted while in office.

The accusations stem from a case against Joseph Brantley and Markese Tibbs. The two were convicted in the 2014 shooting death of Anthony Edwards.

In his report, Flynn claims former Kenosha officer Kyle Baars told a detective he planted evidence on or around October 28, 2014. The report goes on to say Kenosha officers never placed Baars under arrest or recommended charges be filed.

Instead, Baars was allowed to stay on the job until January 9, 2015, when he was placed on administrative leave. The report says although Zapf became aware of Baars' confession that same day, he failed to properly notify defense attorneys about the the new development until four months later, after the trial was already underway.

Flynn's report questions the integrity of Kenosha's entire justice system, saying "How can any citizen have confidence in the outcome of criminal procedings when the Respondent (Zapf) acts as the gatekeeper?"

Flynn goes on to write "When all the evidence was in it became clear that the entire Kenosha law enforcement team [was] acting improperly...."

We reached out to Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis about the allegations. The chief declined to answer specific questions, but emailed a statement saying, "The Kenosha Police Department takes allegation of misconduct very seriously.  Immediately after reviewing the report prepared by Dennis Flynn, I started exploring multiple avenues of review.  Although I believe his report is critically flawed, I am delving into the matter further and will be seeking review at the state or federal level."

The report recommends that Zapf's law license be suspended for at least one year and that he be banned from acting as a prosecuting attorney in Wisconsin. Zapf is appealing that recommendation and a Wisconsin Supreme Court judge will make the final decision on the recommendations.

Officer Baars resigned from the Kenosha Police Department shortly after he was placed on leave. He was charged with misconduct by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.