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Wednesday - March 14, 2018 12:38 am

'No confidence' vote ends in tie for Onalaska judge

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Onalaska's city council Tuesday night failed to declare a vote of 'no confidence' in municipal judge John Brinckman.

The resolution recommending Brinckman resign over charges of mismanagement came to a 3-3 tie.

Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen was out of town, so he was not available to cast a tie-breaking vote.

The judge was originally been criticized by some council members for backlogs in settling cases, or improper management of the office.

Brinckman was accused of not taking responsibility for a large number of municipal fines that have gone uncollected.

Council president Bob Muth said an investigation of the situation finds 177 cases in the last 10 years which have not been concluded yet.

Muth was critical of exaggerations which have made the problem appear much worse.

He said many of the boxes in question were filled with dead files, while others contained old calendars and Tupperware.

During the meeting, a letter written by Greg Luce — a candidate for the spring elections in Onalaska — read by the city clerk, accused Brinckman of having an affair with a staffer.

It’s an accusation Brinckman personally denied before the council.

“I want to state, unequivocally, to this committee, tonight … that at no time ever, have I had a sexual relationship with an employee of the city of Onalaska,” Brinckman said.

Alderman Jerry Every, one of those behind the 'no confidence' resolution, said the “finger pointing has got to stop,” but added he hopes to have a meeting with Brinckman to settle complaints about the judge's office.

 

Last modified on Wednesday - March 14, 2018 8:18 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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