ICYMI: Judge rules against Mayor Genrich’s retaliation against poll observer

MADISON, Wis —In case you missed it, a Brown County Circuit Court Judge overturned a disorderly conduct conviction against a Wisconsin poll observer who was charged at the demand of Green Bay City Hall, and in retaliation to a Wisconsin Elections Commission complaint made against Green Bay Clerk Celestine Jeffreys for improperly accepting absentee ballots.

From Fox 11 (WLUK-TV):

“Janet Angus was issued the citation after an April 5, 2022 incident at City Hall, where she called out Clerk Celestine Jeffreys for allegedly improperly accepting an absentee ballot. Angus was subsequently convicted in Municipal Court, and fined $396.

“She appealed to the circuit court. On Friday, after testimony and a review of video, Judge Tammy Jo Hock overturned the conviction.

“‘I find that the City has not met its burden with regard to Miss Angus being disorderly, and so I’m going to grant the motion, and this citation will be dismissed. I don’t have to address the other concerns and arguments that are made about election integrity because I don’t find that Miss Angus’ behavior was disorderly, but I will observe that it does appear that this municipal citation was retaliatory due to the Wisconsin Elections complaint that was filed,’ the judge said.”

During the trial, it was divulged that this charge was the result of Green Bay City Hall officials improperly pressuring the Green Bay Police Department to both investigate and cite Ms. Angus. In fact, the Brown County District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute Ms. Angus, and this charge was only brought due to the continued insistence of Mayor Genrich’s Administration. The decision comes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission found Clerk Jeffreys did likely violate state law in her handling of absentee ballots in the April 2022 election. 

Election observers are essential to our democracy, and have a statutorily protected right to monitor our election process. As Judge Hock aptly put it, the municipal citation against a poll observer who was simply raising a concern about election integrity was an unjustified and “retaliatory” move. Ms. Angus’ integrity and word has been confirmed now by a Circuit Court, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, and the District Attorney. 

“The City of Green Bay’s government has once again been weaponized by Mayor Genrich and Clerk Jeffreys through their attempts to harass and undermine a statutorily protected poll observer. Despite their attempts to weaponize the legal system against Janet Angus, her victory in court stands as a triumph for election integrity and all Americans who seek honesty from their government, when it comes to their elections.” —WisGOP Communications Director Matt Fisher