Former ADA files lawsuit claiming DA Ozanne harassed, retaliated against him

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is facing a federal lawsuit from a former assistant district attorney and competitor in last year’s primary election for district attorney.

Former Assistant District Attorney Bob Jambois filed the lawsuit Tuesday, alleging Ozanne and others in his office harassed and retaliated against him following the DA race.

In court documents, Jambois claims that in May of 2016 Ozanne held a meeting where he “aired grievances” against attorneys working in the DA’s office and “encouraged the dissatisfied staff to run for the position of Dane County district attorney if they believed they could direct the office better than he could.”

Jambois ran against Ozanne in the primary election, but was defeated on Aug. 9. He claims after the election, Ozanne directed other employees in the office “to initiate a campaign of retaliation and harassment,” including telling him to resign and initiating investigatory review of his employment.

Documents claim that Jambois was told to follow particular procedures in handling cases, then was assigned a “crushing caseload” of 31 trials in the span of two months. Jambois claims he was forced to retire from the office.

The lawsuit claims Jambois’ First Amendment rights were violated in the office, and that he suffered “severe and permanent emotional, psychological and economic injuries.”

Ozanne told News 3 that he hadn’t been served with the lawsuit Wednesday.

“As a named party in a federal lawsuit I wouldn’t be having any comment,” Ozanne said. “I can tell you at this point I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong and we will move forward with whatever we see in the documents.”