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Gondik accuses Douglas County Attorney Dan Blank of grudge

Superior defense attorney Richard Gondik on Thursday criticized Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank, claiming that Blank has become involved in prosecuting him even after Blank farmed the case out to another county to avoid a conflict of i...

Superior defense attorney Richard Gondik on Thursday criticized Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank, claiming that Blank has become involved in prosecuting him even after Blank farmed the case out to another county to avoid a conflict of interest. Gondik and Blank sometimes go up against one another in the courtroom.

Gondik said Blank's "signature -- not just a fingerprint," is driving the criminal case against him.

He said it was improper for Blank to accompany the server of the complaint when he was issued the latest complaint.

Janet Kelton, victim-witness coordinator for Polk County, served a complaint charging Gondik with felony physical abuse of a child and disorderly conduct at Gondik's Belknap Street law office on Jan. 7. Blank accompanied her. The charges were dismissed Thursday.

Blank said Thursday that he did nothing improper. He said he was asked to provide information on how the special prosecutor could connect with Gondik. He said he did that. He said he thought it best that Gondik be served in the privacy of his Belknap Street law office, and he accompanied the server there and introduced Gondik to her.

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"I think the personal-service games [Gondik's motions] are disappointing and ridiculous, from my perspective," Blank said. "But he's got a right to pursue his legal position and so does the state, through the special prosecutor. My involvement is incredibly minimal. I'm not making any decisions or conferring on the charges. In fact, I've made it clear to the special prosecutor that if the case is weak or unprosecutable that I will not be offended or stand in the way, or retaliate in any way if those kinds of decisions are made."

Gondik's defense attorney, Mark Biller of Balsam Lake, Wis., served as Polk County district attorney for 14 years and has pushed the prosecution to follow the letter of the law throughout the proceedings. On Thursday, he challenged the summons delivered to Gondik by Kelton. Kelton once campaigned for Biller, worked for him and the two remain friends. Yet Biller said the summons was not properly done.

Biller said there is no basis for continuing the case. "The facts to support a conviction aren't there," he said.

Related Topics: CRIMEDOUGLAS COUNTY
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