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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 17.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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How Wisconsin Capitol Police served protester Bart Munger his tickets at work
Munger: 'Why not just send it certified mail rather than waste an officer's time?'
Credit:Kristian Knutsen

Police officers showed up twice at Bart Munger's workplace at UW-Madison to serve him with tickets. They just missed him on Monday, but tracked him down Tuesday through his supervisor and handed him two citations.

Munger, a frequent participant in the Solidarity Singers' noontime gatherings at the state Capitol, was cited under the Department of Administration's Administrative Rule 2.14(2)(v) -- obstructing a passageway -- and AD 2.08(1)(b) -- holding signs over railings.

Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis says Munger was ticketed for draping a large banner over the balcony railing on Monday.

Munger says he removed it after a verbal warning, but Marquis says he put it back after the Capitol police walked away.

A Capitol police officer, accompanied by a University of Wisconsin police officer, served Munger at work with the tickets, says Munger.

Munger says he would not have expected police to drive to Milton, where he lives, but believes the workplace visit was intended to harass him: "I don't feel easily intimidated but I'm certain that was their intent."

In fact police did ticket Munger Wednesday, Sept. 5 while he was at the Capitol. He was arrested, handcuffed and taken to the basement where he was cited for illegally displaying a sign.

While there, Munger says an officer went through his wallet and found his campus identification card. Munger says he did not give the officer permission to peruse his wallet.

Marquis said Munger was served at work earlier this week "to avoid confrontation and maintain order" at the Capitol.

But Munger says he feels targeted because of his political activity.

"Why not just send it certified mail rather than waste an officer's time?" he asks.

Munger says it was about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when his supervisor called to say that two police officers were waiting to speak with him.

Munger, who works at UW's physical plant and was between buildings, returned to the shop. While walking outside to talk, Munger suggested that the Capitol police officer could have waited until noon to hand him the tickets at the Capitol. "He said he was told he was to deliver the tickets to me," says Munger.

Munger says he has been discreet at work about his political activity and does not know how his visit from police will play out down the road.

"I don't know what the thoughts of my co-workers are. Some support what I do and some don't. With this big display it's a big deal now. Everybody knows about it. Now it goes up the ladder."

Munger now faces some $600 in fines; his initial appearance in court is scheduled for Sept. 21.

A loose coalition of attorneys has organized to provide legal counsel to protesters and Munger is being represented by William Turner, a member of the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild.

Turner did not return calls for comment but attorney Patricia Hammel, a Guild attorney who is also representing some of the protesters, says serving Munger at work "could be construed as being intended to intimidate him."

Says Hammel: "They are treating people like criminals who aren't criminals."

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