Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Government / State files suit over Lake Mendota landing

State files suit over Lake Mendota landing

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has brought a lawsuit against a Madison lawyer for his structure on Lake Mendota. The lawyer, William Haus, is accused of violating state laws which prohibit the placement of fill material or structures on the bed of a lake without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. (Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Justice)

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has brought a lawsuit against a Madison lawyer for his structure on Lake Mendota. The lawyer, William Haus, is accused of violating state laws which prohibit the placement of fill material or structures on the bed of a lake without first obtaining a permit from the DNR. (Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Justice)

A Madison lawyer must remove a landing that juts out into Lake Mendota behind his home, according to a lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The lawyer, William Haus, is accused of violating state laws which prohibit the placement of fill material or structures on the bed of a lake without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

In addition to removing the landing, the lawyer faces civil forfeitures of not less than $10 a day or more than $500 for each day the landing is in place. Because construction began more than 500 days ago, the forfeitures could range from $5,000 to $25,000 plus surcharges amounting to about 30 percent, according to Bill Cosh, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

Also named in the lawsuit are two Madison contractors, Bauer & Raether Builders Inc. and D.L. Anderson’s Lakeside Leisure Co. Inc.

Reached by telephone, Haus said he had no comment on the suit.

According to the suit, Haus had submitted plans for an elaborate cantilevered series of decks, stairways and landings leading down a cliff at the rear of his property. Beginning Sept. 4, 2009, the DNR asked that the portion of the construction in the lake bed be removed.

“Haus has repeatedly asserted to the DNR that he will neither stop construction on the project nor voluntarily remove the unlawful encroachment it represents,” the lawsuit states.

— Marie Rohde

3 comments

  1. This sounds like a lawyer vendetta to me. Bill who did you piss off. I mean I don’t think its that big of a deal, your structure looks like it does add to the beautification of the lake. It really sounds like a misunderstanding, I hope you don’t have to pay a dime. Some people just got it out for lawyers, but the truth is most are wonderful people. For those of you that don’t know Bill, he is a leader here in Madison in Union Rights for employees. Its a honorable calling regardless how you feel about unions. We are behind you Bill.

  2. He obtained a permit for one design and then built something different, and defied the DNR’s request to stop building an illegal structure on the bed, in the process destroying an area used by walleye and panfish for spawning.

    Sorry, Bill, you can’t pull a fast one on the people of Wisconsin and expect to get away with it.

  3. Interesting!!! He also represents government unions including the DNR! Sounds like a double wammy for Bill !!!

    Only a matter of time, Bill !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*