Gretchen Schuldt
Court Watch

Judge Hill May Face Three Challengers

Valarie Hill, a judge since 2004, is being challenged for municipal court’s failings.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Dec 16th, 2016 12:14 pm
City of Milwaukee Municipal Court.

City of Milwaukee Municipal Court.

Valarie Hill

Valarie Hill

There may be as many as four candidates vying for the Municipal Court judgeship now held by Valarie Hill.

As WJI reported earlier, Brian Michel, a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society in Milwaukee, has announced he is running for Hill’s seat. Hill. Two other challengers now have joined the race: Assistant City Attorney Kail Decker and William Crowley, a lawyer with Disability Rights Wisconsin.

All four candidates have filed campaign registration statements with the Milwaukee Election Commission.

Crowley’s LinkedIn page says he is a family care and IRIS ombudsman with Disability Rights, a position he has held since October 2014. In that job, according to LinkedIn, Crowley proves assistance to clients and potential clients of publicly funded long-term care.

William Crowley

William Crowley

He received his law degree from Marquette University in 2011.

Decker has been a Milwaukee assistant city attorney since February 2014. His campaign Facebook page appears to take a direct shot at Hill, known for her caustic approach to those who appear before her.

“A judge should not publicly berate another person, remove a person from court for dubious reasons, or make incorrect legal rulings,” it says. “With Kail serving as municipal judge for Branch 1, every person would be able to walk into a respectful, reasonable environment and leave with dignity and confidence in the integrity of the court.”

Kail Decker

Kail Decker

Decker graduated from Marquette Law School in 2008.

Michel has been with Legal Aid, a public interest law firm that provides legal assistance to low-income Milwaukee County residents with civil legal issues, for three years.

There, he said on his campaign Facebook page, he “provides no-cost representation to low-income residents facing a wide range of issues, from eviction defense and unemployment compensation appeals, to defending against municipal citations and predatory consumer transactions.”

Brian Michel

Brian Michel

Hill has been a Municipal Court judge since 2004. She received her law degree from the University of Akron School of Law.

The general election is April 4. The primary election will be Feb. 21.

Municipal Court judges serve 4-year-terms. Hill is paid $133,289 per year.

Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.”

Categories: Court Watch, Politics

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