Milwaukee County residents are pushing Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) to terminate a district attorney after a man released from jail after posting bail allegedly killed several people and injured more than 60 others by driving an SUV through a Christmas parade last month.
A group of Milwaukee County residents sent a complaint to Evers asking the governor to fire Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm following the attack in Waukesha that killed six people, including an 8-year-old boy. The suspected driver was released from jail days earlier after posting an “inappropriately low” bail that Chisolm’s office had pushed for, according to a statement from the DA.
“I think it’s in his 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,” Orville Seymer, who organized the complaint and runs Citizens for Responsible Government, told FOX6.
“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,” he added.
Evers said of the complaint that he will “take it seriously.”
“It’s too early to answer the latter question, but clearly, we do now have a letter,” the governor 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.”
Chisolm has endorsed lax bail policies that recommend low bail amounts for certain non-violent criminal activity. In 2007, he said of his approach to criminal justice: “Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”
The alleged driver of the SUV had been released from jail after posting a $1,000 bail after being locked up on several misdemeanor and felony charges. Chisholm’s office later said that the suspect’s bail was set too low considering the charges he was facing. The statement said in part:
On November 5, 2021, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office issued against [the suspect] charges of Second Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Felony Bail Jumping, Battery, Obstructing an Officer and Disorderly Conduct … The most recent case against [the suspect] was appropriately charged. The state made a cash bail request in this case of $1,000, which was set by the court. The defendant posted $1,000 cash bail on November 11, resulting in his release from custody.
The State’s bail recommendation in this case was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges against [the suspect]. The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.