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DA King’s attorney says he has ‘served the community with distinction’

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Gary King 4

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Eau Claire District Attorney Gary King has hired an attorney who says King "has thrown his heart and soul into the job."

King is accused of repeatedly sexually harassing one of his female employees and showing up at work under the influence of alcohol.

Digging Deeper: King accused of sexual harassment

More: Details on a welfare check on King

Two former assistant district attorneys sent letters to the governor last week asking for King to be removed from office.

On Wednesday, Evers' office announced he was appointing a commissioner to do any necessary investigating and report the findings back to him.

In response to that investigation, King has hired former Dane County District Attorney Hal Harlowe to represent him.

“For more than 10 years, Gary has served the Eau Claire community with distinction. No one can credibly deny that he has thrown his heart and soul into the job of District Attorney, worked ridiculously long hours and produced remarkable results. We hope that the public that Gary has served—including local officials—will not rush to judgment on incomplete information and will first allow the Governor to reach a decision based upon a deliberative and fair process.  I think Gary has earned that much.  Fundamental fairness demands no less," Harlowe said. "We respect the role of the news media in this matter.  Going forward, however, our focus will be upon presenting evidence in the upcoming proceeding and will accept its results."

News 18 has also learned the county administrator is restricting King's access to the courthouse.

In a response to News 18's open records request, County Administrator Kathryn Schauf provided News 18 a copy of a letter sent to King on Monday.

It informs King he can only enter the courthouse during open hours by using a public entrance. If he goes to the second floor where his office and the courtrooms are located, he must go through the security checkpoint. The letter says his badge access to other areas of the courthouse have been restricted/deactivated.

In the letter, Schauf said the decision was made after consulting with Eau Claire County judges and Sheriff Ron Cramer who is responsible for courthouse security.

Schauf did not respond directly to News 18's question of the reasoning behind the decision, however, Sheriff Ron Cramer said it is because of the allegation of sexual harassment and keeping county employees safe.

News 18 also learned on Wednesday that King will not be returning to his office for a while.

The DA's office manager, Eric Huse, said that King informed him he will be out of the office for the rest of this week and will be taking leave time for the next two weeks.

Huse said King's court cases are being reassigned to assistant DAs in the office.

King was scheduled to appear in court to prosecute a case on Thursday morning.

Clint Berge

Clint Berge is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager for Eau Claire’s Own WQOW News 18.
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