Fellow Wisconsin citizens:
Recently, whether by coincidence or by coordination, this state has seen an increase in public comment impugning the propriety, motives, and competence of a John Doe investigation in Milwaukee County. Some of that comment has been directed at the office of the Milwaukee County District Attorney, and some at John Chisholm personally. Because this John Doe investigation, like all such investigations, is under the control of a judge, some of that comment also has been directed at the experienced and capable judge, the Hon. Neal P. Nettesheim, who is conducting and overseeing that investigation. As people who have devoted much of our lives to the prosecutorial function, the judicial function, or both, and more importantly who have strived to support the rule of law, we think it important to speak.
We understand that political passions are high at this time in Wisconsin’s history. But we also understand that such times are exactly when the dispassionate rule of law is most essential. This nation and this state depend upon independent prosecutors who have the courage, objectivity and discipline to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, proceeding deliberately and cautiously all the while. Likewise, the nation and the state depend upon an independent judiciary to administer justice impartially, objectively, and honestly. The Milwaukee County District Attorney, his office, and Judge Nettesheim consistently have acted in exactly these traditions. They have done nothing to shake or betray our confidence in them and in the independence of their work.