RACINE, Wis. - The Racine County District Attorney's Office is supposed to help put people in jail, but an investigation alleges a staff member was helping suspects.
FOX6 News obtained the police documents that lay out those allegations. The district attorney has since fired the legal support clerk in question, identified as Destiny Fergus.
Racine police investigated a shooting on June 1. Then, on June 6, police got a search warrant – expecting to find suspects and evidence inside a home – but when officers arrived, the suspects were gone. It turns out, the two men may have been tipped off before the raid. Both men have since been arrested, and one of them is now accused of being in possession of contraband inside the jail.
The police report states a "cooperating source" told them a woman working in the Racine County District Attorney’s Office was in an "intimate relationship" with the suspects' family member. The source also told police the district attorney's staff member alerted the family of arrest warrants before they were even issued, and added they believed Fergus sent texts to the family "with photographs of the criminal complaint."
The district attorney's office documents that FOX6 obtained show Fergus' account and IP address accessed the case files and sometimes printed from it. On June 2, a day after the shooting in question, the documents show Fergus' account accessed the file 17 times. The district attorney's office said that was "despite the fact that the case was not assigned to her."
Then, on June 5, the documents found the same login and IP address accessed the file another 21 times. On June 6, the day of the first search warrant, the file was accessed 15 times. Because of this, the district attorney fired Fergus.
FOX6 was unable to reach Fergus on Friday. District Attorney Patricia Hanson said she would not speak on camera, but said that she was "angry and disappointed."
Hanson added: "No charges have been referred to my office. In order to protect the confidentiality of the source of the information regarding my employee, no charges will be referred. The identity of the source is privileged information under Wisconsin law that the state does not have to turn over as a part of discovery but also makes the case impossible to prosecute. In my opinion, criminal consequences are less important than ensuring that a problem employee is terminated from my office to prevent something like this from happening again."
Despite the alleged help from Fergus, police ended up arresting the two shooting suspects, Tyrone Gister and Tarvis Koker. They are now in the Racine County Jail awaiting trial.
Since being in jail, the Racine County Sheriff's Office said the 21-year-old Koker was in possession of contraband, which officials said was brought in by a jail employee. The sheriff's office accused Brittany Perez, the jail's director of mental health services, of sharing the contraband with another inmate.
The contraband, found on Koker and the other inmate, included two cellphones, two USB chargers, nine oxycodone pills, tobacco, rolling papers, a "makeshift smoking device," a lighter, several pens and two razor blades, the sheriff's office reported.