Legal Ethics

Ex-DA Answers Question: 'Why Would Somebody So Smart Do Something So Stupid?'

Testifying in his own defense on Tuesday before a referee in a disciplinary case, a former Wisconsin district attorney explained the answer to a self-posed question: “Why would somebody so smart do something so stupid?”

The answer, Ken Kratz said, was a combination of issues: His long-standing sex addiction was exacerbated, after 2009, by a prescription drug addiction that reduced his inhibitions, the Appleton Post-Crescent reports.

Kratz, who earlier took a plea in the ethics case, is testifying in the hope of getting a lesser penalty than the six-month suspension sought by the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation. Character witnesses, including two former staff members, are supporting him.

Kratz admitted he “didn’t understand what the big deal was” initially, when complaints snowballed about claimed harassing text messages and other sexually charged behavior by the then-DA of Calumet County, the article recounts. At the height of the ordeal that resulted, he considered suicide and put a gun in his mouth before entering inpatient treatment.

“I’ve never been happier in my life than I am right now,” Kratz testified today, explaining that he no longer lives a double life and is continuing with therapy.

“I make good decisions today,” he said. “I intend to make good decisions tomorrow, and that’s all I can do.”

Additional coverage: “Former DA Calls Ethics Case re His Treatment of Women Unfair, Cites Loss of Job, Home and Bankruptcy”

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