FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Fond du Lac County says it will appeal a jury’s not guilty drunk driving verdict against former state Senator Randy Hopper.
Hopper’s attorney calls it, “petty vindictiveness” and a “partisan witch hunt.”
Hopper was arrested last October for driving drunk across a center line, two months after voters recalled the Republican senator for supporting collective bargaining limits for most public unions.
During his trial in March, Hopper claimed there was a conspiracy by county workers who were out to get him – including law enforcement, which is exempt from the union limits. A six-person jury acquitted him.
Special prosecutor Frank Endejan filed the notice of appeal, and he has not commented. District Attorney Dan Kaminsky tells the Fond du Lac Reporter the appeal would answer the question of when an officer can ask a suspect to submit to a blood alcohol test.
In April, Circuit Judge Robert Wirtz dropped a charge against Hopper of refusing to take a breath test.
Hopper’s lawyer, Dennis Melowski, told the newspaper he believes the sheriff’s department is behind the appeal, and not the prosecutors.
But Sheriff Mick Fink and Chief Deputy Mark Strand insisted they didn’t know about an appeal until the paper contacted them. Strand said he’d call Melkowski today to tell him the sheriff’s office accepted the jury’s decision, and has moved on.