Business owner calls for action after months of waiting for charges from DA

Javacat victim of embezzlement
Business owner calls for action after months of waiting for charges from DA

A local business owner is fed up after nearly a year of no action by the Dane County district attorney.

News 3 first talked to Renee Raspiller in January, when she was waiting on Ismael Ozanne to file charges against her former employee, accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from her local cafe, Javacat.

Almost 11 months later, she’s paid down the debt owed to vendors but is still tens of thousands of dollars in the hole, only able to pay off interest monthly. She’s also still waiting on the DA.

“Why?” she said. “Why is nothing being done?”

Last month, Ozanne held a press conference saying due to a shortage of prosecutors, his office will prioritize cases — meaning some won’t be charged. That was his reasoning when we talked back in January, too.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Ozanne told News 3 that the case was currently an open investigation and he was “not able to speak about specifics.”

“I do understand the victim’s frustrations at the speed at which the system moves,” Ozanne said.

Raspiller, meanwhile, is dealing with a case of deja vu.

“I don’t know how one person can decide the crime just isn’t going to be prosecuted,” she said. “How does that happen?

“It’s one thing to be a victim of a crime, but then to wait for so long and have absolutely nothing happen, it’s insult upon injury.”

Editor’s note: News 3 previously reported that we reached out to Ozanne and that he failed to comment by our deadline. We have since realized that our efforts to reach the District Attorney were unsuccessful that day. We have updated this story to reflect the information he has since provided, and apologize for the error.