John T. Chisholm

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John Chisholm
Milwaukee County District Attorney
Incumbent
Assumed office
2007
Preceded byE. Michael McCann
Personal details
BornMarch 14, 1963
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
OccupationProsecuting attorney, elected official
 
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John Chisholm
Milwaukee County District Attorney
Incumbent
Assumed office
2007
Preceded byE. Michael McCann
Personal details
BornMarch 14, 1963
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
OccupationProsecuting attorney, elected official

John T. Chisholm (born 1963) is an American prosecutor and the district attorney of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, serving since 2007. Prior to his election as district attorney, Chisholm was an assistant district attorney in the office, supervising its gun-crime unit.

Biography[edit]

Chisholm was born in 1963 in Milwaukee; he was raised in the suburbs of Menomonee Falls and Elm Grove, both located in Waukesha County. He graduated from Marquette University High School in 1981; he attended St. John's University and Marquette University, graduating from the latter in 1985. Between 1985 and 1988, Chisholm served in the U.S. Army, and was stationed in the Korean demilitarized zone, rising to the rank of first lieutenant. In 1994, Chisholm graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a juris doctor. The same year, he was hired as an assistant district attorney by E. Michael McCann, then the district attorney of Milwaukee County. In 1999, Chisholm was made supervisor of the office's gun-crime unit.[1]

In 2005, Chisholm announced his candidacy for district attorney; McCann had announced his intention to retire at the end of his term. Defeating former Milwaukee alderwoman Larraine McNamara-McGraw in the Democratic primary, Chisholm was elected over independent Lew Wasserman in the general election.

Tenure as district attorney[edit]

As district attorney, Chisholm established a public integrity unit, resulting in the prosecution of Milwaukee alderman Michael McGee, Jr., who was later convicted in U.S. District Court of crimes including bribery and extortion. McGee was also convicted of two state crimes, to which he pled nolo contendere.[2] Chisholm's office has prosecuted other officials, including Milwaukee County supervisor Toni Clark,[3] who pled guilty when charged with filing a false campaign finance report. Supervisor Johnny Thomas was prosecuted in 2012 for bribery, but was acquitted at trial.[4]

Chisholm has also investigated and prosecuted violent offenders, including preacher and Milwaukee crime figure Michael Lock, who was later featured in the American Greed program on CNBC. He also prosecuted Walter E. Ellis, a serial killer who targeted prostitutes in Milwaukee over a twenty-year period.

Between 2010 and 2013, Chisholm's office investigated staff and campaign supporters of Scott K. Walker, then the Milwaukee County executive, through a secret John Doe investigation. The investigation resulted in four felony convictions, including those of Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch, who both served as Walker's deputy chief of staff.[5] The investigation received criticism from conservatives, many of whom claimed that it was a "witch hunt" against Walker, governor of Wisconsin since 2011.[1] This allegation has been refuted by Chisholm's supporters, according to Milwaukee Magazine.

Chisholm has instituted programs of expanded community prosecution; these have been praised nationally. He has chaired the board of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys since 2010, and has worked in the past with the Vera Institute of Justice. He is also a board member and former chair for Safe and Sound Milwaukee, a community organization aimed at maintaining public safety. During the administration of Governor James E. Doyle, Chisholm served on the Racial Disparity Oversight Commission. He sits on the Data Counsel for Measures for Justice, an organization founded by law professor Amy Bach in 2011.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gunn, Erik (21 January 2013). "Invisible No More". Milwaukee Magazine. 
  2. ^ Diedrich, John (14 November 2008). "McGee pleads no contest to two state charges". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Schultze, Steve (5 March 2010). "Toni Clark gets six months in jail". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Schultze, Steve (24 August 2012). "Jury acquits Thomas on bribery, misconduct charges". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Bice, Daniel (March 2, 2013). "John Doe probe of Scott Walker office closed with no new charges". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 August 2013.  More than one of |author= and |last= specified (help)