Outside agency to decide if Superior Police Officer will face charges

By KBJR News 1

March 5, 2014 Updated Mar 5, 2014 at 7:51 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNNOW.com)---An outside agency will decide whether to charge a Superior Police Officer who is accused of using excessive force on a woman during an arrest at the Keyport Lounge in early January.

Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank filed a motion in court Wednesday for Bayfield County District Attorney Fred Borgh to take over the Department of Justice investigation into Officer George Gothner.

Blank said that it was a conflict of interest for him to determine whether Gothner's actions against 29-year-old Natasha Lancour were criminal due to his close working relationship with the local law enforcement in Superior.

Bayfield County District Attorney Fred Borgh will now take over that investigation and decide if Gothner's actions were warranted, but it could be months before a decision is made.

Just last week Rick Gondik, Lancour's attorney filed a motion in an attempt to force Blank to turn over the results of the state's investigation into the arrest.

In court Wednesday the judge demanded that Blank turn over the results, which he has had since early February, by 4 p.m. on Friday.

Neither Lancour nor Gothner agreed to be interviewed as part of the investigation.

Lancour is fighting the charges of misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and that case, which is separate, is now heading to a trial.

"There's a lot to this case, even though the time frame that everyone knows about is a very short time frame . There's a lot of humans involved and a lot of different perspectives. Its a real challenging case. Bottom line," said District Attorney Dan Blank.

"A picture's worth a thousand words. How many words are a video of my client getting a beatdown from a police officer worth? I mean if Mr. Blank can't see that, 12 citizens of this county will," said Defense Attorney Rick Gondik.

The case will head to trial on March 25.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 18.

Officer Gothner will be subpoenaed to testify at the trial.

Natasha Lancour said she will also take the stand in her own defense at the trial.

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

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