Former Corrections Secretary: Brad Schimel "Botched" Lincoln Hills Probe

Oct 03, 2018

For Immediate Release
October 3, 2018
Contact: Courtney Beyer, courtneyb@wisdems.org

Former Corrections Secretary: Brad Schimel “Botched” Lincoln Hills Probe

Schimel’s Investigation Anticipated to Take “Four to Eight Weeks” Punted to FBI After Five Months


MADISON — In a follow up to breaking news that Scott Walker lied about his knowledge of the crisis at Lincoln Hills, a new WSAW investigation has shined light on Brad Schimel’s serious neglect of the Lincoln Hills crisis. New documents show that Brad Schimel failed to swiftly investigate claims of abuse and refused to communicate findings with the DOC that could potentially prevent future abuse.

From the investigation:

DOJ staff agree[ed] to do an independent criminal investigation on January 23, 2015…

“We hoped it would be a rapid,” Wall said. “We hoped it would come in. We anticipated four to eight weeks, maybe. Considering they had quite a few people to talk to.”

By the four week mark, DOC Investigator Nicole Raisbeck noted in the report the DOJ, “was very reluctant to provide specific information” about its’ on-going criminal investigation….

Wall said that was concerning because not sharing information made it impossible for DOC leaders to take action on abuse allegations.

Instead, Schimel’s investigation dragged on, keeping DOC in the dark about potential risks to the youth currently housed at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake.

It would take more than five months, 157 days, before the report shows that investigation was completed.

But even after that date, in August 2015, DOC staff were still writing, “The DOJ stated during their last briefing they can’t tell us anything.”

Ed Wall, Scott Walker’s former corrections secretary, emphasized that Brad Schimel ultimately punted the criminal investigation of Lincoln Hills to the FBI because of his gross mishandling of the probe.

“That’s why the DOJ handed this investigation off to the Feds,” Wall said. “Because they botched this investigation. And knew they were going to be held to answer questions about why did it take so long.

“Yet again Brad Schimel’s incompetence has gotten in the way of keeping Wisconsinites safe,” said Courtney Beyer, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson. “It’s outrageous that Schimel took five months to complete an investigation that should have taken no longer than two and kept the public in the dark about serious allegations of abuse. Wisconsinites deserve an attorney general who will take the responsibilities of his job seriously.”

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