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