Fate of Superior Police Officer may now rest in Judge's hands

By KBJR News 1

June 18, 2014 Updated Jun 18, 2014 at 9:34 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com)--- An outside judge will now weigh the fate of a Superior Police Officer accused of police brutality.

The case was originally sent out of Douglas County for consideration.

Superior Police Officer George Gothner has been accused of using excessive force following the controversial arrest of Natasha Lancour in the parking lot of Keyport Liquor in January.

Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank was originally assigned to determine whether to charge Officer Gothner.

But in March, Blank recused himself and handed the case over to Bayfield County District Attorney Fred Bourg.

Blank said it was a conflict of interest for him to determine whether Gothner's actions were criminal, due to his close working relationship with the local law enforcement in Superior.

Now Bayfield County District Attorney Fred Bourg has asked for an outside judge's oversight in the case.

Paperwork now sits on an appointed judge's desk and the judge will have to make one of two choices:

The judge can hold a hearing to find whether there is probable cause to charge Gothner with use of excessive force.

Gothner and Lancour could potentially have to testify at that hearing.

Or the judge can determine on their own whether the evidence is sufficient to make a decision.

At that point he or she would hand it back to the Bayfield County attorney for a final charging decision.

As of now, no further court dates have been set and there's no timeline in place for a decision.

Gothner remains on paid administrative leave.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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