Clayton County court documents reveal how judge who oversaw trial of man charged with rape is accused of using his judicial power
Clayton County Court documents show how judge and prosecutor who oversaw the trial of a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Northbrook are accused of having inappropriate relationships with their female prosecutors.
Clayton County Judge Michael J. Rizzo, who was charged with a felony for his part in the case, is the subject of a new lawsuit that alleges he has abused his position of power by using his influence to promote his own personal gain.
The suit was filed on Thursday by attorney Michael M. Tannenbaum, who has previously filed similar complaints with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C. The complaint also alleges that Rizzon used his position as a judge to promote himself in a way that violated his constitutional duty to protect the public and promote the rule of law.
Tannenmeier’s lawsuit also alleges Rizzons actions are part of a pattern of misconduct by Rizzos office.
The complaint alleges Rizos office promoted a female prosecutor to deputy prosecutor for a single case, and then later promoted her to deputy district attorney for another case.
The woman was later fired.
Rizoos office promoted another woman to deputy county attorney for the same case.
The lawsuit alleges Ritzos office used his authority to promote a male judge to a district judge position.
The woman was terminated for violating the court’s rules of conduct.
The lawsuit claims Rizzoes office used her position as district judge to support a male prosecutor who was accused of sexual misconduct.
The former judge also was accused by the former prosecutor of pressuring her to settle a civil lawsuit for more than $20,000.
The new lawsuit alleges that the prosecutor Rizzosi worked with is now the district attorney of Northbrook, Wisconsin.
Rizos attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A number of women in the courtroom are claiming to have been sexually harassed or assaulted by Rizosi, the lawsuit states.
The case was filed by the attorney in June.
Tanna Miller is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
She claims she was sexually harassed in the hallway of Rizzoos office in the Northbrook courthouse by a male Rizozi aide who tried to kiss her and tried to force himself on her.
Rizzos aide later came to Miller and forced himself on Miller.
Ritzo then came to her and forced his hand on her, the suit states.
Ritzos aide was arrested and charged with unlawful sexual contact.