MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin prosecutor caught sending text messages to a domestic abuse victim rejected growing calls to resign on Friday and said he's the victim of a "smear campaign."
Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz said he only cares about the opinion of local voters, who will get to decide whether he should stay in office in November 2012.
"If the citizens of this county would like a different individual as district attorney, they'll have that option," he said.
Kratz acknowledged this week he had a "lapse of judgment" when he sent 30 text messages in three days to a woman whose ex-boyfriend he was prosecuting on strangulation charges. In the messages, he tried to spark an affair and called her a "hot young nymph." She went to police to complain about the harassment and said she felt pressured to start a relationship.
Kratz said he has shown remorse, but the media coverage has been unfair given that he did not commit a crime and the Office of Lawyer Regulation found he did not commit professional misconduct.
"It's just this kind of smear campaign that they try to avoid" by keeping misconduct investigations confidential, he said. Other Wisconsin attorneys have done far worse, he said, and "haven't received near the attention or scrutiny that I have."
Kratz, a Republican, said he intends to run for re-election in 2012. He spoke to The Associated Press hours after a state lawmaker called on Gov. Jim Doyle to start the proceedings to remove him from office. Doyle's office had no immediate comment on the request from Democratic Rep. Fred Kessler of Milwaukee.
Wisconsin's largest newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, called on Kratz to resign in an editorial published Friday. The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence also said Friday he should step down, one day after the group called his actions "totally unacceptable."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
An armed robbery suspect sustained life-threatening injuries after being shot in Fond du Lac County.
First responders helped ring in the holidays at the 45th annual Howard-Suamico Christmas Parade.
Christmas is just two and half weeks away, and kids and families are getting into the holiday spirit.
Single digit temps around the area caused problems in the Fox Valley Saturday morning.
The frigid temperatures forced some area communities to cancel their weekend Christmas celebrations. But New London braved the cold for its annual Holiday of Wonder Parade.
Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's all of the injuries, but many Packers fans are saying "no thanks," to this weekend's Packers game.