La Crosse police and local judges have been at odds recently, because of cases, where the cops and internet bloggers thought criminals were given lenient sentences or were let out of jail too easily.
On Wednesday morning, three La Crosse County judges, and some police representatives, sat in on a county meeting on law enforcement, where they were offered suggestions on how to settle their differences in a civil manner.
And the discussion was civil. La Crosse’s interim police chief, Rob Abraham, apologized to judges, who might have taken his public statements personally.
“The judges are good people,” Abraham said, referring to the county’s chief judge, Ramona Gonzalez. “I know them all. … Ramona is a saint.”
Abraham, however, argued that he feels a need to tell the public, if he thinks dangerous people are being let out on the streets, partly because local news media can’t attend every court hearing.
In June, Abraham criticized Judge Gloria Doyle for releasing a young sexual assault suspect from jail twice in two days, allowing the suspect to return to the scene of an alleged crime.
“When we take potshots at each other in public, without giving all of the information,” Gonzalez said, “that undermines the integrity and the faith that our community has in the system.”
Gonzalez and Abraham were asked to comment in their roles as members of the county’s Criminal Justice Management Council, which meets every third Wednesday of the month.
The other judges and police officials attending the council session did not speak during a public comment portion of the meeting.