John Chisholm recall, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin (2014)

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An effort to recall John Chisholm from his position as district attorney in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin was unofficially launched in February 2014.

People from across the political spectrum were considering recalling Chisholm due to his involvement in several controversies. Community organizers were considering launching a recall effort after Chisholm declined to press charges against three men involved in the death of a 16-year-old boy.[1]

Meanwhile, several conservative political groups were considering recall proceedings after Chisholm initiated John Doe investigations into multiple groups and individuals who were involved in the re-election of Gov. Scott Walker (R) during his 2012 recall election.[2]


Death of Corey Stingley

In December 2012, 16-year-old Corey Stingley was caught trying to steal alcohol. When he tried to run, three men grabbed him and pinned him face-down for approximately 10 minutes, waiting for the police. When the officers arrived on the scene, Stingley was dead. Chisholm reviewed the case and declared there was not enough evidence to charge the men with murder. After he released his decision, there was public outcry from Stingley's family and the local community. Chisholm said, he is "standing by that decision and accept(ing) any criticism that comes with it."[1]

John Doe probes

A John Doe investigation is "an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and if so, by whom."[3] The John Doe probes in Wisconsin, which were initiated by Chisholm, and the basis for them have been called "an outrageous abuse of prosecutorial power for political purposes," and "a violation of the defendants' right to free political speech."[4][5] The John Doe probes were launched to determine whether the Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative groups were illegally coordinating with Walker's re-election campaign leading up to his recall election.[6]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Wisconsin

If supporters decide to move forward with the recall, they would have to register their "intent to recall" with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. They would have 60 days from when the petition is officially registered to collect the required number of valid signatures, which is 25% of the number of people who voted in the previous election for governor within the electoral district of the officer who is being targeted.

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