Adams County DA refutes sheriff candidate’s claim of political maneuvering in suspension

October 12, 2018

Adams County District Attorney Tania Bonnett in an Oct. 12 press release denied withholding Brady/Giglio information pertaining to Adams County sheriff candidate Brent York, or any political maneuvering regarding the timing of York’s being placed on leave.

On Oct. 10, York was placed on paid administrative from his position at the sheriff’s department as an investigator. The issue stems from an incident in 2001, and the suspension was handed down a few hours before he was scheduled to appear in a forum alongside current Sheriff Sam Wollin.

The incident involved York, former Sheriff Larry Warren, former Undersheriff Kenneth Bitsky, and Steven Vosen. Vosen was in custody at the Adams County Jail on Feb. 11, 2001, when he was allegedly assaulted by Bitsky and York. Vosen suffered a broken arm in the incident, among other injuries. Vosen also alleged that Bitsky, York and Warren engaged in a cover-up of the assault.

In remarks to the Wisconsin Dells Events and on his campaign’s Facebook page, York questioned the timing of his being placed on administrative leave.

“It appears to my supporters and myself that this action was highly personal and politically motivated,” said York.

“The untimeliness of (the suspension)… I’m questioning.”

District Attorney Bonnett denied any political motivation in providing Brady/Giglio notice or the County’s decision to place York on leave, citing the recent discovery on Sept. 6 of York’s deposition testimony in the Vosen incident.

“Once I was made aware of the transcript, I had two options,” said Bonnett. “Ignore the evidence and thereby violate my legal and ethical duties as District Attorney or analyze the evidence to determine if a Brady/Giglio disclosure was implicated. I chose the latter option.”

“Determining whether disclosure of Brady/Giglio evidence is warranted is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. On one hand, I must be sure that the disclosure is required because it will certainly reflect poorly on the reputation of the officer and it may negatively impact criminal cases and the victims I serve. On the other hand, we need integrity in the criminal justice system and I took an oath to uphold that.”

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