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Report: Ex-Justice agent sent obscene emails through state system

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A former state Justice agent used the state’s e-mail system to send messages that called his boss an obscene name, and mocked the way Islamic terrorists dress.

One media outlet said Dan Bethards was reprimanded, and suspended twice, for misusing the government’s e-mail system over the past decade.

Bethards had accused his former boss, Jay Smith, of selling guns to law enforcement officers without the required federal licenses.

It was recently reported that Smith was under a federal investigation for those allegations. That probe is continuing.

The media outlet asked for disciplinary files for both Smith and Bethards. Only Bethards had such a file.

A state Justice official in Madison has said that Bethards’ accusations were not credible – and he and Smith had been engaged in a long running series of arguments. Still, the official went to the federal government with the information.

Both Smith and Bethards had worked in the Justice Department’s field office in Superior, which the state closed in May. Smith is still employed by the agency.