The Wisconsin Department of Justice let at least 43 tips about suspected child pornography languish for four months or longer, compromising the investigations and keeping children in harm’s way, an internal investigation determined.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the number could be a lot higher, revealing a major lapse in judgment by top officials in the state.
The probe resulted in the terminations of Willie Brantley, the former special agent in charge of the Justice Department’s Milwaukee office, and Anna King, a special agent who worked for him. All the cases were shifted from Madison to Milwaukee between 2011 and 2013, the Journal Sentinel reported.
“While there are examples during the three-year period of other (special agents in charge) holding cases between 60 and 89 days, these are outliers and no other (supervisor) ever held a case longer than that,” according to the letter, written by Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John.
In one case, a 26-year-old man “was left free to allegedly molest an 11-year-old boy he was baby-sitting.”
“We still have concern that other cases under your former supervision, which have now been reassigned, may identify additional victims whose suffering might have been averted had you exercised the most rudimentary supervisory principles,” the letter notifying Brantley of his termination says. “This discipline takes into account the ongoing risk to the public safety that was set in play by your actions.”