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.