Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 20, 2021
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Milwaukee County residents, citing the “devastation” from Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s “dereliction of duty,” have filed an official complaint asking Gov. Tony Evers to remove the controversial prosecutor from office, according to documents obtained by Empower Wisconsin.
The citizens cited the office’s bail recommendation that let Darrell Brooks Jr. walk out of jail on serious criminal charges just days before police say he drove his red SUV into last month’s Christmas Parade in Waukesha, killing six and injuring scores more. Chisholm admitted the bail recommendation was “inappropriately low” but blamed the failure on a “mistake” made by a “young” prosecutor.
Chisholm has suggested that the error was an aberration in a responsible district attorney’s office. But as the complaint notes, there have been at least three instances since the Waukesha parade massacre where repeat violent offenders were released on low bail only to be subsequently charged with homicide.
“Despite these tragedies and sobering statistics, John Chisholm has refused repeated requests to resign as Milwaukee County District Attorney, but as witnessed in Waukesha last month, the devastation resulting from Chisholm’s dereliction of duty to protect the public has reached outside the borders of Milwaukee County,” the complaint states.
“Therefore, it is incumbent upon you as Governor of the State of Wisconsin, to immediately investigate and remove Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for neglecting his duty to the citizens of Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin,” the complaint concludes, citing state statute.
Evers for weeks has been hiding behind the law, asserting he can’t open an investigation into Chisholm’s conduct until he receives a verified complaint — with affidavits — from a taxpaying Milwaukee County resident. Now, he has no more excuses. The complaint includes sworn affidavits.
The governor’s office did not return a request for comment.
The complaint details the horror of Nov. 21, the day Brooks is alleged to have committed mass murder. Brooks “a career violent felon,” was released from jail just days before after being “charged with second degree reckless endangerment for running over the mother of his child with his SUV on November 5,” the complaint states. At the theme, Brooks was out on even lower bail awaiting trial on charges of another violent crime.
Chisholm released a statement following the violence in Waukesha. He said, “The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.”
But as the complaint states, “Three days after the Waukesha Parade attack, a 33-year-old man named Chad Marcinkiewicz was arrested on suspicion of stabbing a man to death…while out on $5,000 for a previous stabbing this summer that multiple law enforcement sources say left a man seriously injured.” The complaint cites a column from conservative talk show host Dan O’Donnell that was first published at the MacIver Institute’s news site.
Then, on Nov. 30, “20-year-old Donta L. Roberts was arrested in the shooting death of Devonta Lusk while out on signature bond for pointing a gun at someone else in the summer of 2020. Roberts is now charged with Lusk’s murder as well as several counts of bail jumping,” the complaint states, citing a Wisconsin Spotlight story.
Not long after the Roberts incident, a 23-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of killing a 41-year-old man by repeatedly running him over with her car. “This heinous, cold-blooded murder was made even more tragic by the fact that John Chisholm’s DA’s Office has twice in the past six months declined to prosecute the woman for domestic violence strangulation,” the complaint states, citing O’Donnell’s column.
“These tragedies are the direct result of District Attorney Chishom’s negligence in protecting the citizens of Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin,” the complaint charges. It notes a report from Wisconsin Right Now citing a WTJM-TV investigation that found Chisholm’s office “refused to prosecute 6 in 10 of every felony charge requested by police.”