Superior attorney in court again on re-filed physical abuse chargesSuperior defense attorney Richard Gondik was in Sawyer County Circuit Court on Tuesday to face re-filed charges of physically abusing his 14-year-old son and disorderly conduct.
By: Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune
HAYWARD — Superior defense attorney Richard Gondik was in Sawyer County Circuit Court on Tuesday to face re-filed charges of physically abusing his 14-year-old son and disorderly conduct.
But instead, Gondik’s attorney, Mark Biller of Balsam Lake, Wis., argued that a summons served to Gondik on Jan. 7 was improperly served.
He asked Sawyer County Circuit Judge Gerald Wright to dismiss the case. Wright did not dismiss it, but scheduled an evidentiary hearing for April 8. Prosecutors said Biller is trying to delay the case.
Charges were dropped against Gondik at a Dec. 22 hearing in Sawyer County Court because Gondik was not properly served with the complaints. Wright told Polk County special prosecutor Daniel Steffen — who is prosecuting the case upon referral from Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank — that he had 20 days to file the charges again and have them properly served or the case would be thrown out.
Biller argued Tuesday that the state didn’t follow certain statutes in serving Gondik, and that Steffen was trying to lengthen the process to damage Gondik’s reputation.
Steffen, appearing by phone, said that was not the case, noting that Biller’s arguments regarding the summons were delay tactics.
After the hearing, Biller said he was not attempting to delay the process.
“Mr. Gondik and I are officers of the court and we have an obligation to make sure the integrity of the court processes are maintained,” he said.
The charges stem from an April incident at Gondik’s Foxboro home. The criminal complaint alleges that on April 12, Gondik ordered his two sons to do chores outside and locked the door, telling them he would not let them inside until the work was finished.
At one point, the 14-year-old came to the door with a baseball bat. Gondik opened the door and grabbed the bat out of the boy’s hands, the complaint said. His ex-wife, Terri Gondik, told a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy that Richard Gondik either pushed or hit the 14-year-old with the bat, causing the boy to fall to the ground.
When questioned after the Dec. 22 hearing, Gondik told the News Tribune that the 14-year-old was accidentally injured when he fell after Gondik took the bat away from him.
Wright is the third judge to hear the case. Both Douglas County judges recused themselves from the case because of a potential conflict, and an Ashland County judge was removed by the defense. Gondik tries the majority of his cases in Douglas County.