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Gov. Evers receives filed complaint to remove Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm

District Attorney John Chisholm
Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 22:57:25-05

MADISON, Wis. — A formal complaint has been filed asking Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to remove Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm from office.

The petition follows criticism after Chisholm's office recommended $1,000 bail for a man before he allegedly drove his vehicle through a Christmas parade, killing six people.

Darrell Brooks Jr. posted the bail five days before prosecutors say he drove his SUV through the packed parade route in Waukesha on Nov. 21, killing five adults and a child and injuring about 60 other people.

"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 says in part. "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, in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 17.06 (3)."

A spokesperson for the Office of Governor Tony Evers said the governor can only remove a district attorney "for cause" based on receipt of “written verified charges brought by a resident taxpayer of the governmental unit".

Officials say the petition has reached the office, but is yet to be reviewed.

Chisholm said earlier this month that an assistant district attorney with less than three years experience on the job, made a mistake when she sought $1,000 bail for Brooks. He said the assistant district attorney was dealing with a heavy case load and made an error that set in motion a chain of events that resulted in tragedy.

The low bail was approved by the court commissioner even though Brooks was at the time, in violation of his bail conditions for a separate 2020 case.

It was previously reported that 16 GOP lawmakers from the Waukesha area want Chisholm's immediate removal. In early December, republican state lawmakers also called on Evers to remove Milwaukee County's top prosecutor.

TMJ4 found that setting low bails for domestic violence offenders is not uncommon under Chisholm’s leadership. We uncovered 45 felony cases assigned to one district attorney, where bail was set at less than a thousand dollars.

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