John: Crimeless revocation destroys lives

I’m a professional civil and architectural engineer, self-employed in land development since my tenure as a municipal engineer and Urban Planning Commission board member here in Wisconsin dating back to 1976. I was convicted of OWI in 2005 and sentenced to 16 months in prison and 36 months of extended supervision (ES), of which I successfully completed 28 months of in Arizona.

I then relocated to Costa Rica to manage a large-scale land development project planned years earlier. I was on minimum supervision in Arizona, meeting with my agent four times a year and often times that was constituted by her dropping a business card in my mailbox or by my filling out a report form and leaving it with the receptionist.

In any event, I absconded from supervision by relocating to Costa Rica without permission. On June 20, 2014, I flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, immediately upon news that my 93-year-old father was dying. I was arrested at the Broward County International Airport by Homeland Security and U.S. Customs agents on a warrant by the State of Wisconsin DOC for absconding. I was extradited to Wisconsin, a 15-day horrific event in itself, then was held at MSDF for a total of 11 months (another horrific event with inhumane conditions), 3 months during and 8 months after being revoked for all 36 months of my ES.

I was never offered or even considered for an ATR (alternative to revocation). My appointed lawyer told me to remain silent during the revocation hearing explaining that I had not committed nor been convicted of any new crime and therefore revocation was unwarranted. Unlawfully I was revoked for all 36 months and remained incarcerated in violation of Wisconsin ACT 196 legislation that still to date has not been implemented or adhered to by the DOC. I lost both my father and mother who had been married 68 years without a chance to say goodbye or to support my siblings during these most difficult times. My personal life, business reputation and financial losses have been staggering and debilitating. Nothing can ever replace my losses or my lost life opportunities. All this needless destruction and devastation was at the hands of our very own Wisconsin government. I’m presently seeking assistance with an ongoing legal appeal for wrongful incarceration.

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