Empower Wisconsin | Jan. 13, 2022
MADISON — Waukesha-area lawmakers are taking Gov. Tony Evers to task for shrugging off a citizens complaint calling on the governor to remove Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm from office.
The 14 Republican legislators again are demanding the governor hold Chisholm accountable for his office’s role in cheaply releasing the man suspected in the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre. In a new letter delivered this morning, the lawmakers ask Evers if he’s “fearful of what a genuine investigation might reveal?”
“It’s time to do your job. Governing is about making choices. Hiring outside legal counsel to offer an opinion that rests heavily on assumptions, ambiguity and perceived technicalities to avoid making a choice is cowardly,” the lawmakers wrote the letter presented this morning to the governor. “With Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, we need an investigation, not an evasion.”
On Tuesday, Evers found a way to weasel out of dealing with the politically thorny question of John Chisholm and his long record of progressive policies that have released violent repeat offenders on the streets. He secretly hired a Madison attorney who proclaimed the complaint “insufficient” and not properly filed.
You’ll find lots of technicalities in the attorney’s opinion. What it ultimately screams is that the liberal governor, who supports Chisholm’s soft-on-crime criminal justice policies, has spent more time attacking Milwaukee County citizens concerned about public safety than investigating why Chisholm’s office has on numerous occasions recommended “inappropriately low” bail for violent crime suspects.
“It’s clear Governor Evers put more effort into ignoring Wisconsinites’ legitimate concerns about John Chisholm’s dereliction of duty in the case of Darrell Brooks Jr. than investigating the wrongdoing by Chisholm’s office,” Sen. Julian Bradley (R-Franklin), a signer of the letter to Evers, told Empower Wisconsin. “I hope Governor Evers plans on calling each of the victims’ families to explain why he won’t do his job.”
Late Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Wisconsin learned Evers is slinking out of his pledge to take complaints against Chisholm seriously, Darrell Brooks Jr., the man accused of mowing down Waukesha parade-goers with his SUV, was charged with dozens of more criminal counts. Among them, 61 counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and two counts of bail-jumping.
Chisholm’s office had recommended a scant $1,000 bail for Brooks just days before he is suspected of running over and killing six people and injuring scores more in the Waukesha Christmas parade. He had been in jail on eerily similar charges, accused of driving over the mother of his child in the same SUV just three weeks before the Waukesha massacre.
“We continue to hear about the damaging effect of D.A. Chisholm’s lax bail recommendation policies are having on our communities,” the lawmakers’ letter to Evers states. “He continues to neglect his duty, and the consequences are deadly; six dead and more than 60 injured in the Waukesha parade”
The letter cites a Fox6 Milwaukee report that found more than 20 percent of suspects in the 117 homicide and attempted homicide cases in Milwaukee County last year were out on bail for other felonies.
“Thus far, you have chosen to protect D.A. Chisholm to the peril of his constituents and ours,” the lawmakers wrote. “You can have your lawyer do whatever legal gymnastics you want to avoid taking action, but we see right through you. This is nothing more than a shameless attempt to protect a political ally, John Chisholm.”
The legislators, most who have thus far sent Evers two letters urging action, note the governor has the power to conduct an investigation and to remove the district attorney.
“It is time to do your job. It is time to show your leadership. We are once again demanding that you investigate and remove D.A. Chisholm. We await your reply,” the lawmakers wrote.