Legislators grant pay raises for state workers, except for Milwaukee DA

By: - December 22, 2021 5:07 am
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (Photo courtesy of Milwaukee County)

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (Photo courtesy of Milwaukee County)

Just in time for Christmas, the Wisconsin Legislature’s committee on employment relations voted Tuesday to approve a 2% pay raise for all state employees, except for the Milwaukee County District Attorney. Co-chair of the committee Republican Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), directly referenced the ongoing controversy over the release of Darrell Brooks on $1,000 bail.

Brooks drove his SUV  through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, killing six and injuring more than 60. Since then, Republican lawmakers have called for tougher-on-crime policies including raising bail, and have called for District Attorney John Chisholm to step down.

Kapenga accused Chisholm of “failing at his job and has made decisions that (have) led to the deaths of more than a handful of people in my district,” and said of the pay increase, “there’s no way we’re going to approve something like that.” Chisholm’s office has been reviewing what he called  “inappropriately low” bail that preceded Brooks’ release shortly before he drove his vehicle into the parade. The pay raise changes won’t take effect until 2025. In the meantime, the GOP has continued it’s attacks on Chisholm and criminal justice reform policies.


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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.