Sheriff’s Associations Endorse Chisholm for MKE County DA

That partisan pariah (in GOP and Tea Party circles), Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has been endorsed for re-election by both of the Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and the Milwaukee County Retired Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. Law enforcement officers think he’s doing a good job apparently.

“John Chisholm has been dedicated to keeping our community safe for the last two decades,” said Roy Felber, president of the Retired Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and business agent for the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. “John Chisholm works tirelessly to improve our criminal justice system, and his leadership has allowed more resources to be directed to getting dangerous criminals off the street.”

Go figure…

Longtime Scott Walker aide Cindy Archer to sue John Chisholm

According to this op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal’s online edition Cindy Archer, a longtime close aide to Scott Walker, is planning on suing Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for allegedly violating her civil rights.

The governor’s reforms, commonly referred to as Act 10, prompted angry union protests. The reforms also enraged many politicians, including, as I would later find out, Mr. Chisholm and members of his staff. My ties to Gov. Walker and Act 10 made me a prime target for Mr. Chisholm’s campaign to intimidate anyone close to the governor.

In other words, I was targeted because of my politics—in plain violation of the First Amendment and federal civil-rights statutes.

While Cindy Archer wants to play the victim and blame the search of her residence on some politically-motivated witch hunt, I’m more inclined to believe the warrant to search her residence was granted based on evidence (as warrants typically aren’t issue absent evidence of criminal behavior) and likely due to Archer’s longtime connection to Scott Walker. After all, Archer was a key member of Walker’s leadership team during his time as Milwaukee County Executive, serving as his Director of Administrative Services.

Did a pro-energy lobbying group commit fraud to drum up artificial support for WE Energies/MGE rate increase?

A few minutes ago I wrote about the rate increase approved by Gov. Scott Walker’s Public Service Commission, a rate increase that would benefit WE Energies, which last year enjoyed record profits of $577 million at the expense of ratepayers (you & I).

In a related story, Mike Ivey of the CapTimes is reporting that a group lobbying on behalf of the rate increase may have fraudulently used the names of Wisconsin residents in order to artificially drum up support for the rate increase.

A fossil fuel industry group backing changes to Wisconsin’s electric rate structure is misrepresenting the wishes of some Madison Gas & Electric and We Energies customers in a legal filing with state regulators.

The Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance on Oct. 7 sent the state Public Service Commission a petition with names of 2,500 electric customers statewide, claiming those consumers “believe changing the current rule will ensure that all ratepayers are treated fairly and electricity bills remain affordable.”

But it’s unclear how many of those customers actually support the proposed changes, which would raise fixed costs for residential ratepayers.

For example, Mary Frawley, who lives on Madison’s near west side, is listed on the petition as supporting the changes. But she told The Capital Times she strongly opposes the MGE plan, which would hike her monthly service fees from $10 to $19 starting next year.

Among the 2,500 ratepayers whose names may have been used fraudulently was Mike Sinicki, husband to Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki. In response to revelations the Consumer Energy Alliance may have fraudulently used the names of thousands of Wisconsinites, Rep. Sinicki requested Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm investigate whether any crime was committed.

Rep. Christine Sinicki's letter to MKE DA John Chisholm regarding utility rates

John Doe target looks to stall continued investigation

Despite the irrefutable fact that the John Doe investigation into Scott Walker and his aides has yielded a number of felony and misdemeanor convictions, conservative Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth is trying everything he can to keep the investigation from continuing.

Eric O’Keefe is throwing what amounts to another handful of nails out the car window, hoping to slow down the pursuit of prosecutors who are chasing Wisconsin Club for Growth.

That’s how we see the letter that O’Keefe, a director of the conservative group, sent last week to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. Chisholm launched the secret John Doe investigation into the organization and its ties to Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.

The letter asks Chisholm to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate … Chisholm.

O’Keefe’s latest tactic came just two days after the group’s federal case flopped before the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago. The court decided this was an issue for state courts to decide. We agree. Wisconsin Club for Growth had argued that prosecutors investigating ties between the group and Walker’s campaign were infringing on the group’s First Amendment rights.

O’Keefe’s claim of misconduct by Chisholm is specious — one more attempt to put a roadblock in front of a legitimate investigation. It is based on a questionable report that Chisholm, a Democrat, had personal animus toward Walker, a Republican, because Chisholm’s wife is a public school teacher and union steward who was affected by Walker’s decision to push for a law to limit bargaining rights for public workers.

The fact that conservatives like Eric O’Keefe are so desperate to stop the John Doe investigation shows that they’re worried, because in my experience innocent folks have nothing to hide.

Source for conservative smear piece against DA Chisholm & wife is former cop who made threats against Chisholm

On Wednesday I reported on the conservative smear piece alleging Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s use of the John Doe investigation process to investigate (and successfully prosecute) a number of aides and close associates to then-County Executive Scott Walker was motivated by his wife’s feelings about Act 10.

The piece is pure trash, and it made extensive use of an unnamed source who was a “longtime Chisholm subordinate” who used to work in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office. However, as reported by Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the unnamed source used in the smear piece is not a “longtime subordinate” of John Chisholm’s – but he is a man who has made death threats against DA Chisholm and his family within the past year.

The source for reporter Stuart Taylor Jr.’slengthy article in Legal Newsline: a “longtime Chisholm subordinate” who is now a “former staff prosecutor in Chisholm’s office.”

Only those descriptions are not accurate. Not even close.

No Quarter has confirmed that the source making the allegations is a figure well-known in Milwaukee’s legal community — but not for his prosecutorial record.

Michael W. Lutz, 44, is a former Milwaukee cop involved in several high-profile incidents during his 17 years on the force who receives taxpayer-funded duty disability pay for post-traumatic stress disorder. He got his law license less than four years ago and is now a criminal defense attorney.

But here is the shocker: Lutz issued a death threat, apparently during a drunken rage, against the prosecutor and his family last year — a charge not in dispute, though it was never prosecuted.

On Thursday, Lutz dodged questions as to whether he was the anonymous source making the bold claims. He said by email that he wished “to stay out of this firestorm,” even if he helped create it.

Later, at his house, Lutz said he couldn’t talk because Chisholm would “destroy” him. Asked if he was denying that he talked with Taylor, Lutz said, “No, I didn’t say that.”

Taylor declined to identify his source “unless and until he releases me from my promise of confidentiality.” Late Friday, Richard Miniter, CEO of American Media Institute — which commissioned the story — acknowledged that Lutz was the anonymous source.

The fact that the author of the smear piece against DA Chisholm used as his primary source a man who made death threats against DA Chisholm and his family speaks volumes about the lengths conservatives are willing to go to in order to discredit the work DA Chisholm has done to hold those who’ve engaged in misconduct in public office accountable for their illegal behaviors.

And after all is said and done, the fact that the John Doe investigation has resulted in a number of successful felony convictions against aides and associates of Scott Walker should be all the proof anyone needs that the John Doe investigation was certainly warranted.

Conservative publishes smear piece attacking DA John Chisholm’s wife

This is absolutely disgusting, and it shows the lengths some conservatives will go to in order to discredit Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm because he dared investigate (and successfully prosecute) misconduct in public office by employees of then-County Executive Scott Walker.

Right now, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago is hearing oral arguments about whether the John Doe investigation into alleged illegal coordination between Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Club for Growth (and other organizations) is legal. 

Reporters aren’t allowed to bring in electronic devices, so very little information is seeping out.

Instead, Twitter is aflame with an article in a right-wing publication that uses an anonymous attack on the wife of District Attorney John Chisholm.

It’s sickening.

The article alleges that Mrs. Chisholm, a public school teacher who’s a union member (allegedly), somehow cried so hard over Walker’s Act 10 that Chisholm felt compelled to go on witch hunt and bring down Walker and his crew.

The accusation comes from an unnamed prosecutor in the DA’s office.

Allegedly.

Instead of sticking with the facts at hand, the right wing is now attacking Mrs. Chisholm, speculating, “Was prosecutor’s union-operative wife behind John Doe investigation of Scott Walker?”

Stuart Taylor’s hit piece on DA Chisholm is disgusting on a number of levels, but the fact that he resorted to using Chisholm’s wife as a means of attacking Chisholm is particularly despicable.

In the interest of allowing you to read the report by Stuart Taylor, Jr. in its entirety, here it is.

John Chisholm’s epic smackdown of Sheriff David Clarke: “Get off your high horse, Sheriff, and get your office back in the fight”

On May 30, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke wrote a letter (preceded, of course, by a press release) to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers calling for the District Attorney’s office and all branches of Milwaukee County Circuit Court to suspend the use of deferred prosecutions, plea negotiations, read-in charges, and imposed but stayed custodial sentences for all Part 1 offenses (aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, robbery, arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft).

In his response to Sheriff Clarke, District Attorney Chisholm made it clear he has no intention of suspending the use of deferred prosecutions, plea negotiations, read-in charges, and imposed but stayed custodial sentences, and he also noted his office’s efforts to prosecute serious crimes without the help of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. Here’s what Chisholm wrote to Sheriff Clarke regarding Clarke’s failure to be an actual leader in efforts to fight crime in Milwaukee County.

“I know this does not affect you. Your agency does not investigate homicides, nor does it have the capacity to do so after long years of neglect at your hands. Nevertheless, such measures would directly detriment the budgets of every other major police department in the county, which do investigate and help us prosecute violent offenders.”

The rest of Chisholm’s letter to Sheriff Clarke is worth a read. It’s six pages long, but it’s six pages full of epic smackdowns of the myth of David Clarke as a crimefighter.

Here’s the full letter from John Chisholm to David Clarke.

Press release from Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to Sheriff David Clarke

John Doe Didn’t Exonerate Scott Walker

Since the announcement by retired Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim that the John Doe investigation around members of Governor Scott Walker’s former County Executive staff was closed, we saw exaggerated weeping and gnashing of teeth on the left and gloating on right…well nothing in the statement from Judge Nettesheim would indicate that either party is correct. Here is a quote of District Attorney John Chisholm about the reason for closing the John Doe:

“After a review of the John Doe evidence, I am satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded,” Chisholm said in a statement. “As a consequence, last week my office petitioned for, and Judge Nettesheim has granted, the closure of the John Doe investigation.”

“I am satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded.” This doesn’t say that there were no other areas that were investigated and found lacking in proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Doesn’t mean that there may have been other person(s) of interest that weren’t charged within the boundaries of this investigation. And it doesn’t specifically say that ANYONE was exonerated of any crime or criminal activity.

So this little jig and chant from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is just an assumption on his part:

“Gov. Walker once again has done nothing wrong,” said state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). “It’s important to know that this is a complete vindication of what he did and once again a reaffirmation of how he did things right.”

Governor Walker has stated that he was not the target of the investigation…and he may not have been…and he wasn’t charged with anything at all…not even bad judgement in hiring staff…but you always have to wonder when there’s smoke…who’s holding the match?

“Ignore the Public Comments”

If you take away anything from this next story, as egregious as it is, remember that line. That should be the mantel that the democrats use to prop up their republican counterparts in the upcoming election.

Now on to the story: JSonline delved into more detail regarding the republicans redistricting process. and the one word to describe this process: WOW!

First off, republicans had to SIGN Secrecy agreements:

Other newly released documents also show almost all Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the new maps while they were being developed…The agreement tells each lawmaker “you agree not to disclose the fact and/or contents of such discussions or any draft documents within your possession.”

All the agreements were also signed by Eric McLeod of Michael Best & Friedrich, one of several attorneys who advised lawmakers on the maps. Legislative leaders have committed $400,000 in taxpayer money to pay Michael Best and the Troupis Law Office for their work on the maps.


Quick aside: If the name Eric McLeod sounds familiar, he is the lawyer who bought Michael Gableman.

The republicans (specifically Adam Foltz, a legislative aide to Jeff Fitzgerald who helped draft the maps), where this gem was written.

“Public comments on this map may be different than what you hear in this room. Ignore the public comments,” the talking points also say.

Why whatever does that mean? Adam Foltz is no help, he had no idea he wrote them. Luckily we have people like attorney Peter Earle who tells us

it was clear from the case’s record that GOP lawmakers were being told to ignore what their leaders were saying publicly and to focus on what they said in private.

translation: the republicans will be lying in public but working on it behind the scenes. Do not believe anything they say.

This case was started in court in December when Mr. Foltz testified that the new maps were not meant to increase the GOP majority.

Foltz said those who developed the maps used election data from 2000 to 2010 in helping decide where to draw the lines. Yet the goal of the maps was not to increase the GOP’s advantage in elections, he testified.

Not sure Adam rally wants to perjure himself at such a young age to protect the Fitzgerald family. You are too young to start your career like this, Ask Tim Russell what trying to cover up for your boss gets you. Hopefully there is still time for Mr. Foltz to correct his story. Since we now know he is not telling the truth:

The new batch of records also includes memos from Foltz to Republican lawmakers telling them how GOP candidates performed in their districts under the new and old maps. In a deposition in December, Foltz testified the new maps were not meant to increase the GOP majority in the Legislature.

Of the 58 Republicans in the state Assembly at the time, 33 would pick up additional Republican voters. For instance, the district for freshman Rep. Mike Endsley (R-Sheboygan) would go from marginally to solidly Republican.

Those Republican representatives experiencing a drop in the number of Republican voters in their district under the redistricting plan would still have a strong Republican majority of voters. For instance, the district represented by Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) would still be about 60% Republican despite losing a share of its GOP bases under the redistricting plan.

Legal secrecy agreements, eric mcleod, Michael Best & Freidrich, only republicans allowed, new maps where it was broken down by republicans in the district, none of that was done politically? Yes if you believe that you will believe that Scott walker is voluntarily meeting with DA Chisholm.

As for Attorney Earle, here he is testifying at the joint public hearing on redistricting.

Longtime aide to Scott Walker charged with 2 felony counts of embezzlement

Image courtesy JSOnline.com/Gary Porter
Earlier today, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced felony charges have been filed against three individuals – including a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker – as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers.

Among those charged was Tim Russell (pictured at right along with Scott Walker and alleged pedophile Brian Pierick), a longtime Walker campaign staffer and aide in Walker’s County Executive administration. Russell was charged with two felony counts of embezzlement and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement, charges stemming from allegations Russell stole over $21,000 in funds that had been raised in support of Operation Freedom, an annual military appreciation day held at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

In what can only be categorized as a terse (and very brief) conference call with reporters earlier today, Gov. Walker issued a brief statement saying he was “extremely disappointed” with the allegations against Russell, who Walker had appointed to serve as Milwaukee County’s Director of Housing during Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. However, when asked how close he was to Russell, Walker referred to Russell as “Mr. Russell” without expanding on how close a relationship he and Russell may have had, a fact that’s curious given that Walker must have a close relationship with Russell, based on the length of time Russell had worked closely with Walker, both on Walker’s campaigns and in the County Executive’s office.

During the same conference call, Walker was asked twice to explain why he chose in 2009 to transfer control over the funds raised for Operation Freedom from the Alonzo Cudworth American Legion Post 23 to the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, an organization controlled by Tim Russell. In response to those question, Walker indicated control of the funds was transferred to the group controlled by Russell because of allegations of financial improprieties with the previous group that had control of the funds, however according to the criminal complaint filed against Russell, there were no allegations of financial impropriety leveled against American Legion Post 23.

What’s more, Walker asserted he did not know Tim Russell was involved with the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, but as seen clearly on Page 7 of the criminal complaint, Walker as County Eexecutive co-signed a “Memorandum of Agreement” giving the Heritage Guard Preservation Society control over the operation of the event called Operation Freedom, including that event’s funding. While Walker denied any knowledge of Russell’s involvement with the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, the “Memorandum of Agreement” County Executive Walker signed handing over control of Operation Freedom was co-signed by Tim Russell in his capacity as President of the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, so it’s hard to believe Scott Walker didn’t know Tim Russell was involved with that group.

Despite Gov. Walker’s attempt to spin today’s criminal charges involving one of his close former aides, he left more questions unanswered than he actually resolved.