|Katie Krow Kloth|
Katie Kloth, an environmental and Native American activist who is facing four criminal charges for alleged actions at a 2013 political protest, made a motion for a new judge today, approved by Iron County Judge Patrick J. Madden.
The proposed Gogebic Taconite (Gtac) mine site is the source of widespread political opposition in Wisconsin, that in turn has seen the Koch brothers getting involved in local Iron County races over the mine.
Kloth's motion for substitution follows repeated public assertions made by citizen environmentalists and activists that Kloth would have trouble getting a fair trial in Judge Madden's courtroom because he is biased in favor of the proposed mine, (GTac), longtime Iron County residents note.
No rationale for the motion by Kloth has been made public, and the source for this development is the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access system.
A perception of bias is often the basis for seeking motions for judicial substitutions in criminal cases, and in itself implies nothing about the presiding judge.
The Iron County Circuit Court is located in the Ninth Judicial District, Wisconsin.
A friend of the Kloth family reports that the family is not returning media calls.
The Iron County DA, Martin Lipske, has a disturbing history of corruption, including overcharging politically disfavored defendants.
- Piece is updated to reflect the fact that seeking judicial substitutions in criminal cases does not in itself imply bias on the part of the presiding judge. There is a multiplicity of reasons for a defendant to move for a judicial substitution. In this case Judge Madden is in the tank for the mining company. -