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Washington County public official goes to court in clown suit to fight $10 seat belt ticket

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A Washington County public official stopped for a seat belt violation decided to dress up like a clown at his trial to fight the $10 ticket. The judge was not amused.

Dashcam video from August of 2017, shows a Village of Jackson police officer pulling over Washington County Board member Mark McCune.

"The reason I stopped you is because it's 'Click It or Ticket' today, and I noticed you didn't have your seat belt on," the officer can be heard saying in the video.

McCune was wearing his seat belt but it wasn't up entirely.

Jackson police officer: "Did you know you are required to wear it all the way up and everything?"

McCune: "I've had a shoulder issue sir."

McCune was given a ten dollar ticket for a seat belt violation.

"Unfortunately when we're on the grant we're not allowed to give warnings for seat belt violations," the officer can be heard saying in the video.

McCune did not like that.

McCune: "Jesus (expletive) Christ!"

Jackson police officer: "I don't make the rules sir."

McCune: "I understand sir."

Jackson police officer: "All right take care."

McCune: "(expletive)."

Jackson police officer: "Pardon?"

McCune: "(expletive) shoulder."

Jackson police officer: "All right. Drive safe."

Almost a year later, McCune's still battling the ticket.

According to court records, he pleaded not guilty and hired a Milwaukee attorney. His case went to the Mid-Moraine Municipal Court for trial on June 13. The judge was not humored by the board member's courtroom attire as heard in an audio recording.

"Client is wearing a clown suit for a lack of a better term," said Judge Steven Cain. "Full clown regalia including the clown shoes, makeup, wig, hat, the whole bit."

The judge described the costume as insulting.

"It's insulting to the court...it's insulting to me, it's insulting to the prosecutor. It's insulting to the system in general."

Judge Cain speculated McCune wore the outfit as his way of making a mockery of the court.

"It's worth noting this is a ten dollar seat belt ticket that's the issue here today," Judge Cain said.

In the end the judge reassigned the case.

"I can't hear this case in good conscience because of the way I'm fired up right now," said Cain.

Neither McCune or his attorney could be reached for comment, despite FOX6's multiple efforts.

Jackson Police Chief Jed Dolnick released the following statement on the case:

“This $10 ticket could have been settled in municipal court. I’m certain that Judge Cain would have considered Mr. McCune’s explanation, had he chosen to express himself in a dignified manner.”

The case will be heard in Menomonee Falls.