Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 17, 2022
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers has decided it may not be in his re-election campaign’s best interest to appoint a convicted felon — now awaiting trial on five additional charges — to the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission.
Once again, absentee Evers is caught in a kerfuffle of his own making.
The Evers administration has reversed course on the recent appointment of a convicted felon, who is awaiting trial on five additional felony and misdemeanor charges, to the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission.
Aundray Evans, 24, of Milwaukee, was a member of the 19-member commission. He was charged in September 2019 with five criminal counts including armed robbery, motor vehicle theft, possession of a firearm by a felon, cocaine possession and obstructing an officer.
His trial is set for October 2022.
After questions from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the appointment, the governor’s office said Monday that the appointment was withdrawn.
“Mr. Evans’ appointment came at the recommendation of local juvenile justice advocates to ensure the state satisfied criteria required under federal law,” said Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback. “As we recently became aware that Mr. Evans has pending charges outside the scope of the juvenile justice system, Mr. Evans’ appointment has been withdrawn to allow those proceedings to conclude.”
While Cudaback insists the administration was simply following federal law requiring one-fifth of the commission be members under the age of 28, Evers didn’t have to pick Mr. Evans. This is the latest example of this governor always doing the left thing.
Evans has a long and violent criminal record. His record of re-offending is clear, and most certainly would have been vetted by a less lazy administration.
Suffice to say, Evans isn’t the model for turning troubled kids’ lives around.
The Evans affair follows on the heels of the saga of John Tate II, Evers’ soft-on-crime Parole Commission chairman who resigned after mounting public pressure.
Tate’s record of releasing brutal murderers and cop killers finally caught up with Evers,
He was set to release from prison Douglas Balsewicz, who brutally murdered his wife in front of his young children in 1997. Balsewicz had served just 24 years of an 80-year prison sentence. After intense public objection, including pleas from the victim’s family, Evers finally asked Tate to reconsider his decision. The parole board chairman relented a few days before Balsewicz was scheduled to be released.
He also freed Kenneth Jordan, one of three men convicted in the 1973 slaying of Milwaukee Police Officer Ronald Patrick Reagan.
It’s more of the same from Evers, the Democrat who campaigned for governor on the promise of setting free half of the inmates in the state’s prison and sought to do away with Wisconsin’s felony bail-jumping statutes — among other “progressive” justice reforms as violent crime soars.