‘I’m deeply sorry’: Monroe County DA apologizes after being ticketed for hit and run

Monroe County DA receives non-criminal citation for December hit and run

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The Monroe County district attorney prosecutes people who break the law, and he broke one himself. Kevin Croninger crashed his vehicle into an unoccupied car in Sparta — and drove away — in  December.

Croninger received a non-criminal ticket for this incident. Wednesday, he told News 8 Now he regrets driving away from that crash.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office asked the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office to investigate a hit and run that happened on Dec. 30 because of a potential conflict of interest. The incident report chronicles the events that happened. La Crosse County Sheriff Capt. John Siegel interviewed Croninger, who had called the Sparta Police Department the morning after the incident and admitted to hitting the vehicle.

Siegel said in the report Croninger, “was embarrassed about what happened, understood he should have stopped and made contact with the owners, and understood there would be consequences for his decision.”

Siegel said Croninger told him he was on his way home after being out with friends. He said he drank that night but did not feel like he was impaired. Because Croninger didn’t report the crash until the next day, investigators were unable to test his sobriety.

Croninger also told Siegel his truck “windshield was already frosted so he allowed it to warm up so he could see through the center portion; however, the sides were still obstructed.” That too is a violation of a Wisconsin state statute that says a “windshield be kept reasonably clean at all times.”

Croninger issued an apology, saying, “I’m deeply sorry and remorseful for the incident. I didn’t realize how much damage was done until the next morning. I self-reported it to the police that day. I knew I should’ve contacted police right away.

“The incident, while wrong, only involved non-criminal actions. Given this, I was issued a non-criminal citation. I owned up to it and paid the fine immediately. I’m human, I make mistakes and that includes traffic violations.”

The report shows Siegel asked Croninger why he didn’t stop. Siegel said “he had no excuse.” Croninger serves in a role with the responsibility of prosecuting people who break the law. Siegel acknowledged in the report that Croninger said he is not above the law, saying, “He knew he had not made the right decision.”

We requested a comment from the Monroe County administrator. Her office said Croninger is an “elected official employed by the state; therefore, Monroe County has no comment.”

News 8 Now also contacted the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation for comment, but did not hear back.

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