For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Politics and Democracy page and our Wisconsin News page.

Baraboo, Wisconsin — Less than a week after the jury acquitted him of three criminal charges, Eric Defort and Phillip Ferris, attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), move to have the judge revoke the terms of the bond and jail Vernon Hershberger.

In January 2012 Vernon Hershberger was arraigned at the Sauk County Courthouse on four criminal misdemeanor charges for violations of the state food and dairy code; after appearing before Judge Guy Reynolds, he was released on a $500 bond with the bond containing conditions he was not to violate.

In March 2012, Defort and Ferris sent a letter to judge Guy Reynolds requesting a revocation of Vernon Hershberger’s release order, based on the state’s contention that Hershberger was violating terms of the release. The judge, in a court hearing in Baraboo, refused to hear the request, telling the prosecutors that he only responded to motions, not to letters. The prosecutors never followed up with a motion .until more than 14 months later. The motion was filed the morning of Friday May 31, 2013.

The state filed its motion shortly after a
Capital Times online article on Vernon Hershberger posted May 29. The motion claims “the article reflects that Hershberger admits that he violated the bail conditions ‘all along’.” The main conditions under the terms of Hershberger’s release were that he not sell food without a retail food establishment license, manufacture or process dairy products without a dairy plant license, nor sell or distribute milk produced on his farm without a milk producer license. The jury acquitted Hershberger on charges that he failed to have these licenses. Hershberger was convicted on a fourth charge of violating a hold order. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) initially targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.