Register of Deeds John La Fave Retires
Announcement comes two months after FBI raid of his office.
“It was always my intention to retire before my 70th birthday, and as that date approaches, I feel a great deal of satisfaction that our goals for improvements in the Register of Deeds department have been accomplished,” said La Fave in a statement. The retirement is effective April 12th.
La Fave, who has served in the elected position since 2003, does not mention a February raid of the register’s office by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in his statement. The Register of Deeds is responsible for the administration and storage of records involving real estate transfers, births, deaths and marriages.
La Fave’s Brown Deer home had been listed for sale since August 2018 and has since sold. The politician and his wife Andrea La Fave are expected to relocate to Florida following his retirement.
The 69-year-old served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 2003 as a Democrat.
The retirement will give fellow Democrat Governor Tony Evers the opportunity to appoint a successor. The next election is scheduled for November 2020.
In the press release announcing his retirement, La Fave touts that under his watch the department has returned a surplus of $23.7 million to the county and cut its staffing level in half. He characterized the office as the state leader in electronic recording of real estate documents, noting that millions of deeds dating back to 1835 have been digitized and are available online.
The 2019 Milwaukee County budget lists the department as having 26 full-time positions and a $1.47 million budget. It is projected to return $3.1 million to the county as a result of earning revenue of $4.6 million from fees.
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