EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Two high-profile cases in our area, both involving men in positions of power, with recent outcomes that are hard for some to understand and accept.
First, allegations of sexual harassment and working while intoxicated for Eau Claire DA Gary King will not face an investigation.
One day later, developments in the case against former Altoona Schools Superintendent Daniel Peggs that toss out the most serious charges he faced.
First News at Nine’s Carla Rogner shares the impact outcomes like these can have on victims.
About five months after first going to Human Resources, the woman who reported Eau Claire County District Attorney Gary King was sexually harassing her, is happy to see him resign.
Writing in a statement.
“I truly do believe that is what is best for all of us involved, himself included. I am ready to move on and continue to do my job.”
Since King resigned, the governor has decided to halt an investigation into claims that king was working under the influence and sexually harassing colleagues.
That decision was revealed just before a plea deal in the federal case of former Altoona Superintendent Dan Peggs was filed.
In a proposed deal, Peggs will plead guilty to one count of possession of child porn. The other charges, including producing child porn and sex trafficking a child will be dropped.
Kenzie B, Human Trafficking Case Manager for Family Support Center said, “We have talked a lot about how it is impacting survivors in the area when someone in a position of power, someone that is making decisions on other peoples’ lives has accusations like this against them and how that looks for the community.
Kenzie B, a Human Trafficking Case Manager at The Family Support Center in Chippewa Falls says outcomes like this can be hard on victims.
“If they have come forward and disclosed their experience to somebody they are hoping for a result of that and they are hoping that result is them be heard, acknowledged, or a consequence coming out of it, what a consequence looks like to a victim is not the same as what it looks like in a criminal or judicial system,” said Kenzie B.
Another of King’s colleagues calls the developments “disgusting and unbelievable”.
Writing that “especially since it is our jobs to protect victims. Sweeping it under the rug because he’s running away with his tail tucked between his legs doesn’t undo the damage done to the victims and our office.”
Though the woman who filed the report says she understood how this process would work, she credits support from coworkers for encouraging her to speak up.
Writing “Even in the profession that I have, I still had guilt and doubt that it was something that I did to bring about this behavior. I think these are just natural thoughts and reactions that anyone would have. Victims need to know that it is okay to have these thoughts but then get rid of them, as you are not to blame.”
Kenzie b. Says having a support system is essential for victims.
“If they are looking for accountability from the person who harmed them, they can’t control them so we talk a lot about what is in our power to control and what is not and how we overcome the feelings of not being able to control that part of it,” said Kenzie B.
Especially when the outcome is less than what victims and the community had hoped.
In Eau Claire, Carla Rogner, First News at Nine.
The governor’s office says because an investigation was intended to determine whether there was just cause to remove King from office There is no longer statutory authority to continue that process.
King will work as district attorney until his resignation on August 14th. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has not yet assigned a sentencing date for Dan Peggs.