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Lawmakers to Evers: ‘DA Chisholm has failed the public’

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 23,  2021

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — Several state lawmakers are again calling on Gov. Tony Evers to immediately fire Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. 

In a letter sent Wednesday, the legislators note that it has been a month since Darrell Brooks Jr., a violent criminal out on just $1,000 bail, allegedly killed six people and injured more than 60 others when he drove his SUV through the Waukesha Christmas parade. 

“At the time, you said you could not launch a formal investigation to determine if Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm should be removed from office because no taxpayer from Milwaukee County had filed a complaint. Now you have a complaint. Will you finally act?” states the letter, signed by Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and 15 other southeast Wisconsin Republicans. 

The lawmakers sent Evers a letter earlier this month calling on the Democrat to remove Chisholm from office. 

Milwaukee County residents filed the complaint late last week. They allege Chisholm was “derelict in his duties” after his office recommended what the Democrat district attorney acknowledged was “inappropriately low” bail for Brooks. 

“We’ve got six people dead, including an 8-year-old boy, people’s mothers and grandmothers, and there are thousands of people around southeast Wisconsin who are thinking, ‘That could have been my son, that could have been my mother, that could have been my grandmother’ and John Chisholm knew this could have happened,” Orville Seymer, one of the signers of the complaint, told Fox6. 

The lawmakers demand an independent investigation. Evers has cast doubt on the independence of any review, saying he will involve the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office and Attorney General Josh Kaul, a partisan Democrat who has tainted his involvement with public comments he has made on the process. 

“Ultimately, I think it’s up to the voters to decide what that means in terms of his future,” Kaul said of Chisholm in an interview. “We’ve got a system where our DAs are elected in Wisconsin and that’s a decision for voters to make.”

Chisholm’s office conducted a quick review, concluding the low bail recommendation was the result of a “young” assistant district attorney who did not have access to a risk assessment on Brooks. Chisholm claims a lack of state resources has led to overworked prosecutors and an overcrowded criminal justice system. He has said Brooks’ low bail was an aberration. That’s a lie. Multiple reports since the Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre have exposed a failed Milwaukee County criminal justice system that routinely releases on low bail violent offenders with long and dangerous rap sheets.

“District Attorney Chisholm’s explanation raises more questions than it answers about the process his office follows for making bail requests,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Evers.

“If you are serious about seeking justice for the victims, you must conclude what every reasonable Wisconsinite already knows. DA Chisholm has failed the public and is derelict in his duty in keeping people safe using the power of his office. John Chisholm has failed to keep innocent people safe, and he must be removed immediately.”

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