Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 2, 2020
MADISON — That Gov. Tony Evers sure is a sharp judge of character (yes, this sentence is oozing with sarcasm).
His pick to run the state’s health department has ripped up the Bill of Rights in the name of virus containment. His Department of Workforce Development secretary bungled unemployment claims so badly that tens of thousands of out-of-work Wisconsinites were forced to wait months for their benefits.
Now we learn a district attorney he appointed has been M.I.A. for more than 125 days.
As WBAY reported last week, Laura Waite took over as Waushara County’s top prosecutor in April, after former DA Steven Anderson, a Republican, retired.
Waite, hasn’t shown up for work for four months, staff told the TV station.
“There’s no missing persons report. Police did a welfare check and determined she is okay,” WBAY reported.
Officials from the DA’s office told reporters they had received a text message on Sept. 16 that Waite was in a pain clinic in Minnesota, but they have heard nothing else and say she’s made no effort to take care of cases while she’s gone.
In naming Waite to the top prosecutor position, Evers said she was “exactly the kind of district attorney Waushara County needs.”
“She is capable, compassionate, and level-headed. I have no doubt that she will serve the people of Waushara County well,” the governor said in a press release at the time.
Waite previously served as an assistant DA in Wood County. Evers’ press release said Waite came to the Waushara County DA position with a “diverse legal background.”
Empower Wisconsin attempted to reach the Waushara County and Wood County District Attorneys offices on Friday afternoon. No one in a position of authority was available to answer our questions.
Waite remains on the ballot for Tuesday’s election. She’s running against Republican candidate Matthew R. Leusink, who received 2,115 votes to Waite’s 1,254 in the August primary election. He has served as assistant DA for Walworth County since 2015.