Judge Reverses Ethics Board Ruling Against Giles

A Winnebago County judge handed down his decision in the lawsuit filed against the City of Fond du Lac by current Councilman Ben Giles.

Judge Daniel Bissett reversed the City Ethics Board ruling in a Zoom meeting held Friday morning involving Giles, his attorney Daniel P. Bach, as well as the attorney representing the City and Ethics Board, Anthony John Garcia.

In handing down his decision, Judge Bissett said the City of Fond du Lac violated Mr. Giles’ due process, and that the Ethics Board had misinterpreted the city code.

KFIZ News reached out to Mr. Giles, who referred us to his attorney, Daniel Bach for a statement and comments. Attorney Bach responded by saying “Judge Bissett ordered an oral ruling from the bench overturning the City of Fond du Lac Ethics Board decision that Ben Giles violated Section 52-4(B) of the City’s Ethics Code by consulting with private legal counsel about an ethics issue. Specifically, Judge Bissett found that Giles’ due process rights were violated because he was not given notice in advance of the hearing before the Ethics Board that the board would consider his having consulted with private legal counsel in regard to an ethics issue a violation of the Ethics Code. That claim had not been alleged in either of the two complaints filed against him. For the same reason, Judge Bissett Ruled that the Ethics Board acted outside its jurisdiction in making its finding.”

Giles had filed the lawsuit back in March, after the Ethics Board handed down their decision that he had violated one of the sections of the City of Fond du Lac’s Code of Ethics.

The lawsuit had sought a reversal of that decision, with Mr. Giles claiming the decision of the board negatively affected him.