On Monday, December 15, 2o23, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Attorney Gary King’s law license for one year for misconduct while serving as District Attorney in Eau Claire County.
The case is entitled “Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Gary King,” with case no. 2022AP745-D.
Based on the PDF, Gary King violated the following Supreme Court Rules: SCR 20:1.1, SCR 20:8.4(g), SCR 20:8.4(i), and SCR 40.15.
King has been the Eau Claire County District Attorney since being elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020. However, a complaint was filed against him by the Office of Lawyer Regulation on May 5, 2022, regarding two counts of misconduct between 2018 and 2021.
The first count involved sleeping through a court hearing in January 2021, as well as appearing intoxicated or impaired during court hearings in February and June 2021. Numerous employees of the DA’s office reported repeated instances of King sleeping on the job, including sleeping through meetings and court proceedings. In February 2021, judges observed signs that King was intoxicated during a court appearance. He was asked on multiple occasions to submit to a preliminary breath test but refused each time.
The second count involved inappropriate sexual comments and conduct directed toward several female employees. Between 2019 and 2021, King made unwanted comments about the appearance and sex lives of employees. This included sexually harassing J.B., the Coordinator of the Office of Victim Services, on multiple occasions. Employees reported King’s demeanor changing, with explosive outbursts and abusive behavior toward staff.
King entered into a stipulation on June 27, 2023, admitting to the two counts of misconduct. A referee was appointed and recommended a one-year suspension of King’s license after reviewing aggravating and mitigating factors.
The state Supreme Court agreed with the recommendation in its December 15th ruling, feeling a one-year suspension was appropriate given the seriousness and pattern of King’s behavior, especially as the top law enforcement official in the county.
King resigned from his position as DA in August 2021. His law license will be suspended for one year, after which he can petition for reinstatement. He was also ordered to pay $5,927.83 in costs for the disciplinary proceeding.
The Disposition states:
“IT IS ORDERED that the license of Gary King to practice law in Wisconsin is suspended for a period of one year, effective January 19, 2024.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. King attended the William Mitchell College of Law, graduating in 1994. He acquired his law license in Wisconsin in 1998.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.