In 1996, an amendment was made to the Wisconsin Constitution which bars any candidate that has been convicted of a misdemeanor which violates the public trust from running for or holding any public office.
However, the Legislature has not yet defined which misdemeanors violate the public trust. Currently, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) advises candidates and potential candidates that have been convicted of a misdemeanor they are not barred from running for or holding a public office until the legislature decides which misdemeanors apply.
The purpose of this petition is to ask the legislature to consider not only misdemeanors but, also disciplinary actions by the Wisconsin Supreme Court stemming from ethics violations by attorneys of Supreme Court Rules provisions when the legislature defines the disqualification parameters under the amendment for candidates seeking election to public office of District Attorney.
District Attorneys should be of the highest ethical character. There is no reason why lawyers who have been disciplined by the Supreme Court after OLR inquiries should be allowed to run for public office of this stature. There are plenty of other suitable candidates in the State. Unethical District Attorneys have blighted the State of Wisconsin for sometime now and 30+ DA's have been disciplined while in office since the 80's.
In light of this fact, lawyers should be barred from ever running if they have been disciplined by OLR and the Supreme Court as the sanctions resulting from these disciplinary proceedings are meted out after professional misconduct is found to have taken place under Supreme Court Rules for attorneys and prosecutors. The violations which warrant suspension of their law licenses are inherently "violations of the public trust."