AG Kaul supports GOP efforts to reform bail laws, opposes removing Milwaukee's DA from office
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's attorney general is supportive of Republican proposals to reform the state's bail system, but said he opposes efforts to remove Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm from office.
Attorney General Josh Kaul said the Waukesha parade tragedy shows it's time to update policies when a judge is determining bail.
Republican lawmakers want to allow judges to consider how dangerous a defendant might be to the public when setting bail.
Efforts to overhaul the state's bail system came after the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office recommended $1,000 bail for Darrell Brooks, who while out on bail is accused of driving an SUV through the Waukesha Christmas parade.
Brooks posted bail in a separate incident where he's accused of running over the mother of his child with the same SUV seen plowing through the parade.
"I'm focused on identifying solutions to prevent something like this from ever happening again," Kaul said. "If someone is a danger to the public, or flight risk, and the evidence against them is substantial, they are detained prior to trial."
State Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Delafield) is pushing for tougher bail laws and reintroduced a constitutional amendment that would remove restrictions judges face when it comes to setting bail. A judge would also be able to set no bail to keep someone behind bars under the proposal.
Right now, the state's constitution currently doesn't allow this.
Kaul is supportive of the idea but said he wants to take it a step further and implement a system the federal government uses. It aims to prevent situations where dangerous individuals who can afford high bail amounts pay up and then are released from jail, Kaul said.
"Where someone in the state may have a high bail and is a danger to the public, but if they have access to resources they might be able to get out," said Kaul.
Discussions on reforming bail laws come as Republicans want Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm removed from office.
Chisholm is facing criticism for his statement regarding the suspect, Darrell Brooks, stating he should have not been out on $1,000 cash bond at the time of the attack, calling it "inappropriately low."
Kaul said he would rather have voters decide Chisholm's fate.
"Ultimately, I think this is a decision the voters should make," said Kaul.