Vogt Memorial Service Award
At our annual meeting in July, at the seminar in Appleton, the Association will present the third Honorable Thomas J. Vogt Memorial Service Award.
The Vogt Memorial Service Award is granted annually to any person, whether or not a municipal judge, who meets the criteria and the standards of service set by the Honorable Thomas J. Vogt. For those of you who did not know Judge Vogt, he was a singular person who lives large in the memory of those of us who were lucky to know him. Judge Vogt was the Village of Clinton Municipal Judge from 2002 until he passed away on July 4, 2011.
After serving in the United States Army for several years, Judge Vogt graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. He became a teacher in Clinton, Wisconsin, where he became known for purchasing science equipment and computers, out of his own pocket, for his classroom and for tutoring children on his own time. When he retired from teaching, he donated all his science materials and computers to the school. After his teaching career, Judge Vogt continued to serve his community by taking those without transportation to church and volunteering at nursing homes.
As a municipal judge, Judge Vogt believed in fairness to all, and he took a special interest in juveniles. As an example, in lieu of paying forfeitures, he directed juveniles to perform community service, and when they were finished, he would treat them to lunch. Judge Vogt also spent 41 years as a part-time officer for the Town of Geneva Police Department. Judge Vogt was also instrumental in furthering education and access to resources for Wisconsin municipal judges. He was relentless in getting the materials from the Municipal Judges Benchbook and educational seminars gathered and scanned into a PDF format, and he did so always on his own time and at his own expense. He made these materials available to the Wisconsin Municipal Judge Association website and on CD. He claimed he charged only for the cost of the CDs, but in truth he usually gave them away to fellow judges. In his nine short years as a judge, he made a memorable impact on those municipal judges who knew him.
The Honorable Thomas J. Vogt Memorial Service Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to Wisconsin Municipal Courts and/or the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association and the community at large. The person honored may have performed a single act of service of monumental import, but the award is generally intended to recognize service over a number of years. The Honorable Thomas J. Vogt Memorial Service Award may be granted to any person, whether or not a municipal judge, who meets the criteria and the standards of service set by the Honorable Thomas J. Vogt. Any member of the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association may nominate a deserving person for the Award. The recipient of the Award shall be determined by consensus of the then-serving President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Past President of the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association.
The Honorable Thomas J. Vogt Memorial Service Award shall be bestowed upon the recipient annually at the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association annual meeting. The first Vogt Award was given to Judge Dan Koval in 2012. Judge Koval is the City of Madison Municipal Judge and has headed our efforts with legislation important to municipal courts for several years. The second Vogt Award recipient was Carol Koschel, the Program Assistant for the Supreme Court of Wisconsin Office of Judicial Education. We all know how much Carol does for municipal judges.
As I've said, any member of the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association can nominate any person for the Vogt Memorial Service Award. So, I am soliciting such nominations. If there is any person you believe is deserving of this award, I ask that you nominate her or him along with some information about the nominee and the reasons you believe he or she would be a great choice. Please email your nomination to me at
Judge Scott Letteney
Town of Geneva Municipal Court
President, Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association