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Jensen Prosecutor Bob Jambois Has Checkered Past

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Former Kenosha County District Attorney and Mark Jensen Special Prosecutor Bob Jambois (D) on January 9, 2023, The First Day of Jensen’s Re-Trial
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Mark Jensen is facing his third criminal proceeding for the alleged 1998 anti-freeze murder of his wife, Julie. In 2007 and 2008, former Kenosha DA Robert (Bob) Jambois tried the case as a special prosecutor. Jensen was found guilty, according to Jambois, because of his “excellent lawyering.” After a lengthy appeals process in the Wisconsin state courts and the federal courts, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial. Kenosha Judge Chad Kerkman defied the higher court’s ruling and found Jensen guilty without a trial. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals wouldn’t permit Kerkman’s unprecedented ruling in defiance of the federal court. Therefore, earlier this month, Jensen’s second trial started. Jambois is prosecuting this case again, as special prosecutor.

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Jambois was born on February 1, 1952. He moved to Kenosha County in 1974 when he was about 22 years old and attended UW Parkside. He then went to the University of Wisconsin Law School, graduating and entering the Wisconsin bar in 1981. He was hired by the City of Kenosha as an assistant city attorney, prosecuting non-criminal ordinance violations.

In 1989, Jambois was elected as Kenosha’s district attorney. In 2005, Jambois left Kenosha and worked for the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation. He worked as an assistant district attorney in Dane County for one year and now works as an assistant district attorney in Portage County.

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KCE has spoken to attorneys and others in the legal community who were around during Jambois’ tenure as DA. Most of them had the same thing to say: “Bob Jambois is a hothead.” KCE did some digging and we quickly found a few examples that would suggest this was true.

When Push Comes to Shove

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In 1988, Jambois had never lost an OWI trial. That was, until he tried a case in which criminal defense attorney Robert Sfasciotti represented a defendant. Sfasciotti won the case, marking Jambois’ first OWI trial lost. At the time, Jambois was running to be the Kenosha County DA and had boasted in political ads that he had a 100% record prosecuting OWIs. Attorney Sfasciotti joked at the time, “looks like he’ll have to change the ads!” This comment would later come to haunt Sfasciotti.

Sfasciotti would later oppose Jambois in a criminal matter 11 years into his tenure as DA. Sfasciotti and Jambois were in a preliminary hearing on Thursday, October 20, 2000, in front of Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Carl Grecco. Sfasciotti’s client was being charged with a domestic related crime, and Jambois added a firearm enhancer to the charge, which Sfasciotti thought was ridiculous because the gun was nonfunctional and in rusty pieces. A verbal altercation began between the prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Jambois yelled “I’ve been taking crap from this weaselly little creep for 12 years now,” and gave Sfasciotti a hard shove. Sfasciotti believes the “12 years” comment was from Jambois’ OWI defeat at the hands of Sfasciotti 12 years prior. Apparently, Jambois held a grudge.

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Jambois never faced criminal charges because Sfasciotti didn’t wish to pursue the matter. But that didn’t stop taxpayers from roasting Jambois in letters to the editor. “Robert Jambois and his clique of self-appointed messiahs need to realize that the law applies to them as well as to others” said “Disgusted” in a November 13, 2004, letter to the editor. Another Kenosha taxpayer was upset, saying that his nephew was criminally charged for similar conduct, adding “Now I ask you, is your D.A. exempt from these charges because of his position? My nephew won’t be.” Resident Sonja (McClure) Oliak publicly called for Jambois’ resignation. Jambois didn’t resign.

The Car Horn Debacle

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A young man once pulled into the driveway of Bob Jambois’ home. He was there to pick up Bob’s daughter to take her on a date. The man beeped the horn instead of knocking on the door. The kid was a teenager, so maybe he was nervous about meeting the hothead DA in person. This ticked off Jambois. He went outside and told the kid to pop the hood. The kid obliged. Jambois then proceeded to rip the wires that went to the horn out of the car. Jambois learned that the kid didn’t have a valid driver’s license. Did Jambois use his official law enforcement DMV clearance to check the young man’s license status? As likely as it is, we don’t know. He refused to answer our questions. This certainly could have been charged as a criminal act of damage to property.

From Cheeseburger To The County Jail

According to a Kenosha Police report, Jambois went to McDonald’s on Sheridan road for lunch on August 24, 2004. A 40-year-old homeless man named Joseph McGraw was in the restaurant eating a cheeseburger. According to McGraw, a man who he did not know came up to him and called him a “vagrant.” Jambois’ statement to police said that McGraw asked Jambois for the time and asked “could you spare me a buck?” Jambois said he then told the man that it was against the law to panhandle and that Jambois wouldn’t allow that in his community. He then ordered the man out of the restaurant and according to a source the two got physical, and Jambois detained the man, who had been drinking. In Wisconsin, public intoxication is treated as a social ill and is not criminalized. Panhandling has since been declared constitutionally protected free speech. When Kenosha police officers arrived, Jambois ordered them to arrest McGraw and charge him with state disorderly conduct charges. The man was taken to jail and booked. He would never face criminal charges, but he was mailed a $102 municipal ordinance citation for “begging” on October 4, 2004. On March 2, 2005, the Kenosha municipal judge dismissed the charge.

The Kenosha News gave Jambois a “DART” a few days later for “throwing his weight around and having a panhandler who asked him for a buck arrested for disorderly conduct.” The paper called him an “overzealous prosecutor.” Longtime Kenosha News columnist Bill Guida wrote the following about the incident on August 31, 2004: “I don’t know anything about harlotry in Kenosha, but now my eyes are wide open to the danger I unwittingly placed our community in by forking out spare change and an occasional buck to panhandlers. A couple of times I even treated a panhandler to breakfast, never realizing I could have been helping raise the Homeland Security threat level to orange – maybe even red.”

Dane County DA

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, Jambois applied for a position at the Dane County DA’s office at the urging of the Deputy District Attorney, Tom Fallen, in 2015. He was encouraged to apply because he brought significant trial experience to the the office, which was severely lacking at the time. The Dane County DA’s office did hire Jambois in 2015. Jambois then claimed that he successfully prosecuted several high-profile defendants, while offering successful mentorship and tutelage to younger trial attorneys. Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne denied all of these claims in court, including that Jambois secured a conviction in the Jensen case because of “excellent lawyering.”

In 2016, Jambois ran against Ozanne, and lost. Jambois sued Ozanne in 2017, claiming he was treated unfairly after the election, and the case settled. The Dane County DA is refusing to hand over the settlement documents to KCE. The Wisconsin DOJ is reviewing this denial.

Mark and Beverly Jambois
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Beverly Jambois
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Joyce Erickson “Jury Expert” and Liberal Activist
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Interesting Prosecution Team

KCE has received no fewer than a dozen questions about two of the three women assisting the prosecution. Deputy District Attorney Carli McNeill is an experienced prosecutor. Nothing suspicious there. But Jambois’ wife Beverly Jambois and good friend, Joyce Erickson, were introduced to the jury many times. Jambois introduce Beverly as “Public Service Special Prosecutor.” If you don’t recognize that title, you are not alone. Neither does the Kenosha County legal community. Beverly’s publicly available curriculum vitae mentions zero experience as a prosecutor. Even more strange, Jambois introduced local democrat activist Joyce Erickson as a “jury expert.” We could find no one within the legal community with any knowledge that Erickson is a “jury expert.” Erickson is very vocal on social media and likes to attack conservatives. We do know that Erickson and Beverly were paid activists that lobbied in favor of a Kenosha casino and for an indoor smoking ban with the “Tobacco Free Coalition” and KIND, “Kenoshans Initiative for Non-Smoking Dining.” Erickson is good friends with Bob and Beverly, sometimes hosting them at her home. KCE has not yet learned if the County or State is footing the bill for the two women’s services, that seem unnecessary, but we will continue to dig.

Special Prosecutor Bob Jambois Screaming at Judge Anthony Milisauskas on January 11, 2023
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Special Prosecutor Bob Jambois Screaming at Judge Anthony Milisauskas on January 11, 2023
(CourtTV Still-shot)

On January 11, 2023, the third day of trial, Jambois screamed at Judge Milisauskas. Jambois ran against Milisauskas for Judge in 2005. Jambois lost to Milisauskas, and many in Kenosha believe it was due to Jambois’ off-the-rails behavior. I was ready for this type of behavior, as seen above. There are possibly three weeks left of this trial. For the betterment of the community, let’s hope Jambois can contain his hot temper.

Special Prosecutor Bob Jambois Screaming at Judge Anthony Milisauskas on January 11, 2023
(CourtTV)

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23 Responses

  1. A public service special prosecutor is someone who volunteers to act as a prosecutor without pay from the state. The appointment has to be okayed by a judge. Neither common or without precedent.

    Bob is known to have a temper and a “my way or the highway” attitude. That said, he hasn’t always been wrong. But he could have accomplished more by being a gentleman.

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  2. Now for the interaction with the judge. They were both wrong and both acted like hotheads. While a judge has the duty to control the trial and admissibility of evidence Jambois was entitled to “make the record” explaining what he was trying to do and his objection to what the court did. While he was trying to do that the judge was standing up and cut him off. Two wrongs don’t make a right but the judge was out of line, too. Pretty much like magnets repelling each other (again).

  3. Don’t know about Joyce Erickson but his wife can’t be paid. I think I read that they are staying at the Erickson home.

    The real issue is whether Mark Jensen will be found guilty without the “letter from the grave.”

  4. The legal community knows Jambois’ strengths and weaknesses. It made perfect sense for him to try this case. Except for Judge Gabriele, who obviously can’t be a prosecutor anymore, “Jambo” is the logical choice. Having McNeill as his second chair gives her experience with a complex trial and public exposure as rumors say she may run for DA.

    Truth be told some of the problems the Kenosha DA’s office has today, particularly understaffing, goes back to Jambo. He also did some good things, to be sure. Some lawyers felt he was too close to the police (not uncommon) and was not always consistent in how he handled cases. And then there’s the temper……………

  5. I hope Deputy DA Carli McNeill will view some of her experience working with Jambo as a version of Tim Allen’s ‘Tool Time’ show’s depiction of how NOT to do something.

    1. Jambo is no liberal. He’s a chameleon. He’ll blow all over the place depending on how it suits him.

      Bernie Sanders is a liberal and proud of it. He also has many conservative friends who respect him because he believes what he says and says what he believes.

      Jambo is no Bernie Sanders.

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  6. O YEA THIS GUY PLAYS HIS CARD ALL THE TIME, YEARS AGO HE TRIED TO STIFF ME FOR TOWING HIS LITTLE MGB COLLECTOR CAR FROM KENOSHA TO HIS HOME IN PADOCK LAKE, TELLING ME DO YOU REALLY WANT TO CHARGE ME, AS THE DA OF KENOSHA, HE REALLY IS SOMETHING, GUYS LIKE THIS ARE KENOSHA DOWNFALL FOR ARE COMMUNITY .

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  7. Jambois was tough on crime. When he was DA, we didn’t have all of the shootings and violent crimes in Kenosha, because the saying was, go to Kenosha on vacation, leave on probation. Criminals knew to stay away. I’m surprised that’s all of the law and order people in this page are complaining about him.

  8. Jambo has been too comfortable getting his own way to make himself look good. Prosecutors need to be held to the same standards they deal out to others. He’s been a bully and the police have been in his pocket. It’s sad how people in power act like gangsters under the guise of the law.

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  9. He may act testy, but he seems like a good lawyer, and its my hope that without the letter Jensen does not see the light of day. Both lawyer and judge needed a time out. Just don’t give the defendant a reason to get another new trial. This has to end, its ridiculous, him getting this re-trial. RIP Julie Jensen.

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  10. Well, I don’t know anything about this attorney but I could tell something was up with him the first day I saw this trial. The good forensic physician who he tangled with, he shouldn’t have. She said among others that he asked a question as a double negative and he argued it wasn’t. That’s exactly what she wanted, and she knew he would act that way, afterall she is a forensic scientist. As I watched him lawyer it was clear to me he was a narcissist with all the problems they have. I’m surprised he made this far with his life still. Anyway, Jensen was found guilty, and now sentencing.

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  11. Jamboy has always been a strange cat channeling some weird UK accent. It is interesting to watch the gender shift between him and Bev. Not everyone fooled by them tools!

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  12. I’ve never heard of Mr Jambois before, but…I’m a fan!
    He seems to strike a balance between being tough and tenacious with having a genuine desire for keeping the law without an agenda.
    I don’t know any of his history, and I hope he continues to grow as a person, as we all should be doing.
    Only One walked on water and was perfect. Having a heart for law and order is commendable.
    Rock on, Mr Jambois!

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  13. Bob Jambois was first introduced to me professionally. He and his wife, Bev, have since evolved into cherished lifelong friends of my wife and I. Our friendships have endured for more than 35+ yrs. As couples go we are pretty much oil and water regarding most of our political viewpoints. No matter, we respect and appreciate them both. For as long as I have known him Bob has been a dedicated prosecutor with indisputable integrity. That bewilders radicals and faux moderates of all stripes. Bob could never stoop so low as to become a cower-under-his-bed political figure that embarrasses himself and his community during a “mostly peaceful” protest. Kenosha is chest deep in that misguided ilk. This includes the shameful propagandists of a myopic media. Frankly, Bob was a classy tuxedo paired with ugly scuffed brown shoes, Aka Kenosha.

    To all those bitter self-victimizers out there who are resentful that Bob Jambois had once prosecuted you or your well-deserving relatives/friends: Enjoy your pity party.

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  14. Sorry, but I don’t like how this layer is talking about Mr Mark Jensen. You have to be professional and Mr Mark Jensen has his rights.
    I have doubt about this case.
    Julie and Mark has a toxic relationship. Both were guilty. I don’t see that Mark did that. About his obsession of penis can be normal after a hard infidelity. Sometimes when you are suffering something like that you can have a crazy obsession that make you feel bad with yourself too.
    No always one is only a victim and another is guilty for everything. She had always the option to leave him but she didn’t want and please, no use the same excuse: her children.

    1. Wow, a lot to unpack from your comment. Do you have a crush on mark or something? Go ahead and become his penpal, I’m sure he’d love to have another easy mark to manipulate. He has already done a number on you, clearly…
      And please, don’t *you* use the same excuse regarding the bad grammar in your last sentence.

  15. Bob Jambois prosecuted me when he had exculpatory evidence. I was charged with Abusive Phone Calls. “Investigating” detective Frederickson had advised someone broke into a MD office, caused damages and left a threatening voice message. This “detective” called me and said call was recorded and he would have the crime lab compare “voice prints.” Then at “trial” failed to produce the lab results but Jambois could careless. The Dr. had an affair with his secretary who’s husband also worked for the doc. He had to call police for insurance purposes and protection. I was the scape goat. Muni “judge” found me guilty. I appealed to County court and won. Jambois has a criminal mind and heart if he has one.
    Jambois partner, Jeff Dowse, is another scum bag. He was appointed as my Public Defender in another case where I was charged with Being A Party to a Crime. Detectives in KPD again proved incompetent and dishonest. Dowse tried to get me to cop a plea. I refused. Dowse advised there was nothing he could do to help. I showed up for trial but Dowse advised me to remain outside courtroom. He was in and out several times begging me to plea. I refused. Closer to lunch and no trial. Dowse was told to bring me to judges chambers where State witness had been refusing to “co-operate” and exonerated me. Case closed.
    In another trial for Battery or Assault charge, I was found not guilty after four guys said I beat them up and Detective Milton Ayers was hot for me. He came to see me at work (CYC) several times. Once taking me to his car and shoving a baseball bat into my side, hoping I would put my finger prints on what he was producing as “evidence.” I refused but they put it into evidence anyway. One of the accusers, Jon Greco, testified that he saw me take out a knife (never happened) and carve the initials “MA” (Milton Ayers?) into the bat before I used it. I admitted I used a souvenir bat, but it was not the one in evidence. My friend was shot near the heart and I was shot at but saved by my car door. Later we discovered that the DA, John Landa, was the personal attorney of the Greco family (Cheese).
    I had to leave Kenosha after Milton Ayers fabricated a charge and the Public Defender proved as dishonest as most PDs. (Some are genuinely decent but trapped in a very corrupt system). Judge Fisher rigged the jury against me by yelling at me for dismissing PD Myron Keyes for neglecting to subpoena a key witness. I also discovered they rigged the jury with County employees to ensure a conviction. One of them was KPD officer Fern Johnson who concealed his associations with law enforcement. I did several months in jail. And it followed me to IOWA where decades later it was repeated.
    My son and I were framed and the exculpatory evidence is overwhelming. Again, No witnesses for our defenses were allowed in the kangaroo courts where they planted the jury with Iowa Supreme Court Justice Tom Waterman’s associate Mr Tate Featherstone, a millionaire playboy country clubber and Insurance Policy Architect with Arthur J GALLAGHER Co. Davenport. Mr Featherstone admitted testimony that he mislead doubtful jurors to convict based on a hearsay question. Last time I checked, that has never been substantial to convict and certainly fails to rise to BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. All IOWA OFFICIALS REMAIN DERELICT OF DUTY TO SEEK REMEDY per IRPC 32.3.8(h).
    This happened in 2017. It is now 2024. This demonstrates IOWA’S WANT OF INTEGRITY & FIDELITY. http://www.youtube.com/user/kornkobiowa also, YouTube Dr. Karin Huffer, LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME (HORRIBLE GOVERNMENT)

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