Republicans request removal of Milwaukee DA for Waukesha suspect's low bail

NOW: Republicans request removal of Milwaukee DA for Waukesha suspect’s low bail


WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A group of Republican lawmakers are asking Governor Tony Evers to remove Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm from office.

The calls to remove Chisholm come after his office recommended $1,000 bail for Darrell Brooks, the man who allegedly tried to run down the mother of his child with his car. According to court records, Brooks posted the money and was released.

Days later, Brooks is accused of using that same car to plow down 60 people during Waukesha's Christmas parade, killing six.

Republican lawmakers, who represent Waukesha, sent Gov. Evers a letter on Monday, December 6, 2021 asking him to remove Chisholm from his post.

"In light of the devastation to the Waukesha community, it is clear Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has neglected his duty to the citizens of Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin," Republican lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Chisholm previously said in a statement that suspect Darrell Brooks should not have been out on a $1,000 cash bond at the time of the attack, calling it "inappropriately low." This prompted the DA office to conduct an internal review.

Last week, Chisholm explained the mistakes that led to Brooks low bail saying it "should have just been substantially more."

Chisholm has refused to step down after calls for his resignation. His office did not immediate respond to requests seeking comment. 

"He should man up, he made a mistake and his policies have cost six lives... he needs to be held accountable," said State Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield), one of 15 Republicans who sent the letter to Evers. 

Governor Evers can only remove a district attorney if a local taxpayer brings forth a written complaint about the individual. If a vailed complaint is filed, in this case by a Milwaukee County resident, and an investigation finds any misconduct or wrongdoing then Evers could decide to remove Chisholm. 

During a news conference in West Bend, Evers dodge questions if he believes Chisholm should be removed or resign from office. Instead, Evers responded by stating his office has not received a verified complaint regarding Chisholm. 

If one is received, Evers said he'll 'initiate it."

"As soon as I see a letter, per state law, will begin that process, but it has to be someone from the county," said Evers. "It's simple. I get a letter from someone in the county requesting that process to be initiate it, I will initiate it."

The Brooks case where low bail was issued was handled by an assistant district attorney with just two-and-a-half years of experience and a heavy caseload.

A public safety assessment deemed Brooks was in the highest risk category, which normally would mean a high cash bail. However, Chisholm says the ADA didn't see the report because, for reasons that are still under investigation, it wasn't uploaded in the system.

State Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha), who signed the letter asking Evers to remove Chisholm, said residents are "fed up" and hopes someone will file a formal complaint soon.

"We want to do something about it so I think it's just a matter of time [someone files a complaint]," Allen said. "We need a better policy...there's a movement underway that says we've have had enough." 

Read the full letter to Evers below: 

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