Chisholm Says He Has No Clue


Chisholm Says He Has No Clue

CREATED Mar. 5, 2013

Now that the seemingly never ending John Doe investigation into goings on at the Milwaukee County Executive's Office four years ago has finally been concluded, several questions remain.

First, will John Chisholm come clean about the true costs of the probe?

Don't hold your breath.

Chisholm's office has just denied an open records request seeking the "total number of hours employees spent working on the John Doe investigation".  According to Chisholm's office, "no such documents exist". 

In other words, Chisholm is claiming that he has no clue as to how much time and taxpayer money was spent on the almost three year witch hunt.

In private practice, attorneys have to keep track (often down to six minute increments) of how much time they spend on a particular matter.  Public sector attorneys don't typically keep track of "billable hours" per se.  However, any responsible administrator puts procedures in place to oversee how much time is being spent on any given matter.  Otherwise, it is impossible to track the productivity of your employees.

My guess is that Chisholm is technically correct in saying that there there are no documents specifically tracking the number of hours actually spent on the John Doe investigation.  In this regard, the open records request might have been inartfully worded. However, if Chisholm really has no idea how much time and how many resources were devoted to this investigation, he would be the worst administrator ever.

Seriously, can the Milwaukee DA's Office really be so mismanaged and out of control that the DA doesn't have some way of tracking and quantifying what his Assistant DA's and investigators are doing?

Especially in a high-profile case like an investigation into former aides of the now-sitting Governor?

Some costs of the John Doe should be readily ascertainable - starting with the amount of money paid to the presiding judge.  Subpoena fees, court reporter charges, travel expenses and other costs should also be easy to determine.  If there aren't invoices and payment vouchers for these items, something would really be fishy.

The lion's share of the cost of the John Doe however would be the amount taxpayers shelled out for salaries of prosecutors.

And John Chisholm says he has no record of this information.


Let's remember this the next time the Milwaukee County DA pleads poverty and says he needs more resources.