Thursday, December 8th, 2016

The Beloit Daily News says Chisolm’s office is risking the public’s confidence

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Can Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm rescue the John Doe investigation from an appearance of impropriety and restore the public’s confidence in the investigation?  The Beloit Daily News asks the question:

Now it has been revealed a lead investigator for the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office in the John Doe case swirling around Scott Walker had a sign in the yard at his home urging the governor’s recall. The story, apparently, is that the investigator’s wife is a Milwaukee County employee and she put up the sign.

It’s reminiscent of earlier reports that a few employees in the prosecutor’s office had signed Walker recall petitions.

DA John Chisholm, in a statement, said, “I do not regulate or control the constitutional freedoms of my employees’ families in their private lives.”

FAIR ENOUGH. But Chisholm does control the prosecutors’ office and he is responsible for maintaining both the reality and the appearance of absolute integrity in his investigations.

In a case such as this, the rule ought to be that individuals in Chisholm’s office can work on high-profile matters or they can have some link to the political wars — but not both.

It’s absurd to suggest otherwise. Doing so invites criticism and tarnishes the integrity of the investigation. No one should know that better than a public prosecutor.

Already, warriors for Walker accuse the DA — a Democrat — of being part of a statewide cabal aimed at nullifying the 2010 election by whatever means necessary. There’s no evidence of that. The John Doe, thus far, has been conducted carefully and its net cast narrowly. Chisholm has the convictions to prove it.

But he risks public confidence as the investigation moves forward by tolerating questionable activities connected to his people.

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