A group of Milwaukee County residents formally asked Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) to fire Milwaukee County District Attorney (DA) John Chisholm in the aftermath of the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre.
Under Wisconsin law, taxpayers may submit a verified complaint to the governor requesting a district attorney be ousted for cause. Taxpayers recently filed such a complaint to Evers’ office requesting Chisholm be removed from office.
The complaint was organized by Orville Seymer, a member of Citizens for Responsible Government. Seymer signed the notarized complaint with six other individuals.
These Milwaukee County taxpayers are asking for Chisholm’s removal due to the low amount of bail Darrell E. Brooks Jr received. Brooks, who killed six people when he drove his vehicle through the Waukesha Christmas parade, is currently being held on a $5 million bail for the six homicide charges.
However, just days before the Christmas parade massacre, Brooks was released on $1,000 bail for “a serious weapons-related offense.” Chisholm faced intense criticism for Brooks’ low amount of bail. Further, Chisholm’s office admitted the bail amount was “inappropriately low” in light of Brooks’s criminal history and pending charges.
Chisholm blamed Brooks’s low bail on a novice assistant district attorney (ADA).
“You had a young ADA trying to do the very best she could under difficult circumstances, and she made a mistake,” Chisholm said.
However, Seymer still places blame with District Attorney Chisholm, telling local news:
We’ve got six people dead, including an 8-year-old boy, people’s mothers and grandmothers, and there are thousands of people around southeast Wisconsin who are thinking, “That could have been my son, that could have been my mother, that could have been my grandmother” and John Chisholm knew this could have happened.
Seymer noted that firing Chisholm is now a matter of public safety. “I think it’s in [Evers’] best interest, and clearly, it’s in the best interest of the people of southeast Wisconsin to fire John Chisholm and make southeast Wisconsin a safer place,” he said.
Reporters questioned Gov. Evers about the complaint on Monday, but the governor did not give any definitive answers about Chisholm’s fate.
“We’ll take it seriously but no prognosis as to what decision will be made,” said Evers.
Evers told reporters it is “too early” to say if Chisholm will be fired.
“It’s too early to answer the latter question, but clearly, we do now have a letter,” he said. “We have to verify that yet and make sure it’s Milwaukee County people that have submitted it, but we’ll do an investigation. I’m sure we’ll be looking to have some help from both the office in Milwaukee, but also Attorney General Kaul.