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Friday, June 02, 2006

Congressional candidate arrested

Lake Geneva City Attorney Michael Rielly, who announced this month he would challenge U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan for his congressional seat, was arrested a week ago on a charge of disorderly conduct at the Hogs and Kisses Bar and Restaurant, 149 Broad St., Lake Geneva.

Rielly, 44, was held overnight at the jail and appeared Friday, May 26 for a bond hearing, via closed-circuit television, before Judge John Race.

After the hearing, Rielly issued this statement through his attorney, James Martin: ìI have done nothing wrong. I have done nothing illegal. I have done nothing immoral.î

Diane Donahoo, Walworth County assistant district attorney, said Rielly reportedly was bothering female customers at Hogs and Kisses and being disruptive when the manager asked him to leave. Rielly refused.

The manager then took Rielly by the arm, escorted him out and called Lake Geneva police. When the police arrived, Rielly was seen going back into the bar.

Rielly was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing, a municipal violation. An alcohol breath test showed Riellyís blood-alcohol level at 0.27 percent.

Conditions of bond were that Rielly was to refrain from drinking, have no contact with Hogs and Kisses and ìtake his medication.î

The judge did not specify what kind of medication he was referring to or what condition it treated. However, he did say he thought there was a ìserious competency issueî involved with Riellyís behavior.

Martin said Rielly opposed the no-alcohol condition.

ìMy client says heís not on medication or any prescribed medication,î Martin said.

Race said he feared that Rielly might be decompensatingócoming apart mentally and emotionally.

ìMy concern is heís decompensating in the community,î Race said.

Rielly tried to break in several times via closed-circuit television as both his attorney and the judge tried to keep him quiet.

ìMike, shut up for a moment,î Race said at one point.

At another, Martin urged his client to ìtake your Fifth Amendment right.î

That evening while incarcerated, Koss said that between 7:44 and 8:54 p.m., Rielly made 11 collect calls to the Lake Geneva Police Department, identifying himself as, among others, Mayor Sheldon Shepstone, City Administrator Dennis Jordan, Municipal Judge Henry Sibbing, City Clerk Diana Dykstra and even ìPrince Albert in a can.î

None of the over-the-phone aliases worked, however, and Rielly was arrested in jail on a new charge of unlawful use of a telephone.

Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said the new case, like the earlier arrest for disorderly conduct, will be transferred to the Jefferson County District Attorneyís Office to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Koss said.

Rielly is one of the few elected city attorneys left in the state. Heís been city attorney since 1996 and was re-elected without opposition in April.

By Chris Schultz
Janesville Gazette


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