July 26, 2015

Michael Lutz — a conspicuous critic of the John Doe investigation — dies by apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Here's my post from last October about Lutz:
I'm not surprised that [John Doe prosecutor John] Chisholm declines to answer [Stuart] Taylor's long list of questions, even though Chisholm did speak up in response to Taylor's original attack and seemingly went to some trouble in an effort to to impugn Michael Lutz. Lutz was Taylor's unnamed source for the article that depicted the prosecutor and his office as highly politicized and openly antagonistic to Governor Scott Walker.

The questions standing alone go a long way toward rehabilitating Lutz after the attack on his credibility and they also work to restate and emphasize Lutz's original charges against Chisholm. Taylor observes that Chisholm has generally denied that he had a political agenda, but that he doesn't seem to have denied the specific allegations that Lutz had made. This corresponds to what I wrote when I saw Chisholm's response:
Reading [Taylor's original attack and Chisholm's response], I'm thinking that Taylor raised suspicions that Chisholm and his lawyers and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have not adequately refuted. I want to see a specific statement from Chisholm that goes into the details, something more than expressions of outrage and denials that could be based on Chisholm's belief that he compartmentalized his prosecutorial decisionmaking and his personal political beliefs and husbandly tenderness.

Were there blue fist signs in the office and other expressions of support for unions and antagonism to Walker? What was the extent of participation in the protests? Did Chisholm speak openly about his wife's feelings in the context of the case? Taylor's article created a strong motivation to respond on that level, and neither Chisholm nor his lawyer provided that response.
So I'm pleased to see Taylor taking this approach — with far more detailed questions —and I'll reprint Taylor's questions below:
1. In a September 12 article by Dan Bice, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said that Mr. Leib “said Thursday that Lutz had left a message threatening to kill Chisholm and his family in the past year. He did not provide audio of the voice mail.” Was this an accurate and complete report of what Mr. Leib said to Mr. Bice, and of what Mr. Chisholm told Mr. Leib?

2. Mr. Lutz has said in response that while he may have used harsh or even inflammatory words, he never said anything that he intended or that Mr. Chisholm interpreted to be a threat to harm anyone. Does Mr. Chisholm challenge this statement by Mr. Lutz?

3. If Mr. Chisholm does challenge it, how does he explain his failure either to prosecute Mr. Lutz or to report him to appropriate authorities for making a death threat, which would have been a crime?

4. And what, if any, steps did Mr. Chisholm take to protect himself and his family from Mr. Lutz? Armed guards? Moving his family to a safe location? Having Mr. Lutz tailed? Anything at all?

5. Mr. Lutz has explained the alleged death threat roughly as follows: He feared on the basis of one or more phone conversations that his best friend and former police partner, Jon Osowski (also the brother of Mr. Chisholm’s wife) was in trouble, and perhaps suicidal, so that he (Mr. Lutz) requested help in urgent phone calls to the Chisholms, expressing increasing and agitated concern, and possibly saying something that might be twisted out of context as threatening. Finally, Mr. Lutz has said, says, Mr. or Mrs. Chisholm or both went out into the night to help Mr. Osowski. Does Mr. Chisholm deny the accuracy of this account?

6. Mr. Lutz has also said that Mr. Chisholm has played the recording for him and that the two of them “laughed about” the episode the next day. Does Mr. Chisholm deny this?

7. In light of the evidence that is now available, will Mr. Chisholm or Mr. Leib or both retract and apologize for accusing Mr. Lutz of making a death threat?

8. If not, will you repeat that you believe that Mr. Lutz made a genuine death threat, and thereby show that you are not concerned about possible liability for libeling Mr. Lutz?
That ends the set of questions about the "death threat," so the numbering goes back to 1:
1. As far as I know, neither Mr. Chisholm nor anyone else has ever suggested a motive for Mr. Lutz to lie about Mr. Chisholm. Do you maintain that he had a motive to lie and, if so, what was it?

2. Mr. Lutz has said that his motive for making allegations of bias against Mr. Chisholm was and is that “I don’t like what he has done in regard to political speech that he disagrees with.” I am not aware that anyone has challenged the truthfulness of this statement. Do you challenge it?

3. Mr. Lutz has said that at least before this September, he had been friends with John and Colleen Chisholm for more than a decade. Do you deny that?

4. He has added that has visited the Chisholms’ home several times and gone to dinners, after-work functions, and other outings with one or both of them over the years. Do you deny that?

5. He has also added that he gave $200 in August for a Chisholm campaign fundraiser. Do you deny that?

6. When Mr. Lutz went into private practice, Mr. Chisholm wrote a memo (of which I have a copy) to him dated July 27, 2011, saying that his service “has been exemplary,” that his “dedication and hard work … have proved to be invaluable,” and that “I am extremely grateful for the service you provided.” Do you deny that?

7. In a previous letter of recommendation (of which I have a copy), in November 2007, Mr. Chisholm wrote that Mr. Lutz had been “one of the best investigators in the Milwaukee police department” and had “removed some of the most dangerous offenders from the streets of Milwaukee” while combining “a remarkable memory with unceasing hard work and courage.” Do you deny that?

8. Mr. Lutz has said that in late 2010 or early 2011, he heard Mr. Chisholm and others in the DA’s office express anger at the newly elected Scott Walker, who Mr. Chisholm said had backed away from an agreement to support statewide stepped pay raises for DA’s and their assistants. Do you deny that?

9. Mr. Lutz has added that Mr. Chisholm complained that Mr. Walker had “lied to my face” about stepped raises. Do you deny saying anything like that?

10. Mr. Lutz said the following in a May 20, 2012 email to an unidentified person, a copy of which he gave me, while saying that it accurately described a conversation he had with Mr. Chisholm in or about March 2011: When “I was a Special Prosecutor in the DA’s office and [Wisconsin Supreme Court] Justice [David] Prosser approached me to do a [pre-election] video spot about how the decision authored by him about the guy who shot me was a very important ruling for Police officers in general, DA Chisholm … stated that he couldn’t allow me to do it and he wants to stay as far away from these Republicans as he can.” Do you deny saying anything like that?

11. In the same email, Mr. Lutz added that Mr. Chisholm “went on to say how he knows that Act 10 would eventually end up in the [Wisconsin] Supreme Court and didn’t want Prosser to decide on the case.” Do you deny saying anything like that?

12. Also in the same email, Mr. Lutz added that roughly eight months after this conversation, Mr. Chisholm’s “liberal block of DA’s, 80% of them, are actively campaigning, emailing, and even verbally bashing Walker at charging conferences.” Do you deny that?

13. Mr. Lutz has said that Mr. Chisholm told him that his wife, Colleen, a teacher’s union shop steward, had been repeatedly moved to tears by Gov. Walker’s policies regarding public employee unions. Do you deny saying anything like that?

14. Mr. Lutz has said that Mr. Chisholm told him that his wife “frequently cried when discussing the topic of the union disbanding and the effect it would have on the people involved.” Do you deny saying anything like that?

15. Mr. Lutz has said that Mr. Chisholm told him that he felt that it was his “personal duty” to stop Gov. Walker from curbing public employee unions. Do you deny that?

16. Mr. Lutz has said that Mr. Chisholm told him that his wife had joined public demonstrations by one or more unions against Walker’s policies in 2011. Do you deny saying anything like that?

17. Mr. Lutz has said that Mr. Chisholm made most or all of the statements numbered 10 through 16 above while the two of them (and perhaps one or more others) were speaking in Mr. Chisholm’s personal office in or about March 2011. Do you deny that?

18. Mr. Lutz has said that in the first half of 2011 (roughly), many of Mr. Chisholm’s subordinates were very strongly opposed to Walker and his union-curbing policies. Do you deny that?

19. Mr. Lutz has said that a number of subordinates of Mr. Chisholm joined public protests in 2011 against Walker’s policies. Do you deny that?

20. Mr. Lutz has said that some Chisholm subordinates hung images of blue fists on their office walls in 2011. Do you deny that?

21. I believe that Gov. Walker’s Act 10 and perhaps related legislation or policies caused cuts in take-home pay for Mr. Chisholm and his subordinates, as for other unionized public employees, in part by requiring them to pay for previously free or inexpensive health insurance, pensions, and perhaps other benefits. Do you deny that?

22. The cuts in take-home pay for Mr. Chisholm and/or some of his subordinates were roughly 10 percent or more. Do you deny that?

23. One or more of Mr. Chisholm’s subordinates will be entitled under current law to a pension in excess of $1 million each. Do you deny that?

24. Mr. Lutz told me that Mr. Chisholm told him that as a result of Act 10, Colleen Chisholm’s union local disbanded and that she was very upset about this and the effect it would have on members and former members. Do you deny that?

25. The impact of Mr. Walker’s polices on the Chisholms’ finances also included whatever pay Mrs. Chisholm had previously received from her union. Do you deny that?

26. I have reason to believe that Mrs. Chisholm had been receiving more than $20,000 a year in gross compensation from the union. Do you deny that?

27. I have been told that after I published some of Mr. Lutz’s allegations without identifying him, the DA’s office developed a list of people who might be my source. Do you deny that?

28. I have also been told that there were as many as 10 or 12 people on that list. Do you deny that?

29. I have also been told that Mr. Lutz was not on that initial list. Do you deny that?

50 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Taylor does very good research...

His work along with Johnson as critical in breaking the Duke LAX conspiracy.

Mike Sylwester said...

I speculate that Lutz was being blackmailed to shut up about the John Doe investigators. Lutz and the blackmailers all were motivated to refrain from talking about what they knew.

Since the Supreme Court has stopped the investigation, the blackmailers' reason to remain silent about Lutz's sins have ended.

alan markus said...

Does this have anything to do with Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton?

anti-de Sitter space said...

"I speculate that Lutz was being blackmailed to shut up about the John Doe investigators."

Did you read the lists?

It looks like he fully unloaded long ago. No reason to shut up now.

Anywho, Is a couple pensions worth $1,000,000 really a big deal? It seems like it'd be more concerning to find out that folks don't have more than that sort of retirement plan. How does U of WI retirement work? Since Althouse thinks this is an important list of questions, what is the total value of her government funded retirement plan?

Michael K said...

Oh, if ritmo doesn't think there is any important fact here, let's talk about something else.

Mike Sylwester said...

It looks like he fully unloaded long ago.

Lutz certainly unloaded about a lot -- but maybe not about everything.

The main issue now is whether someone else intended to unload a lot about Lutz.

If someone else did intend to unload about Luz, then why wasn't it done before the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision?

Bay Area Guy said...

Gotta grieve for the soul of Michael Lutz. Gotta scorn the hideous abuse of power of DA Chisholm. Gotta love the tenacity of Stuart Taylor.

The Drill SGT said...

In a better world Stuart Taylor would be headlining "Meet the Press". Can you imagine how much fun that would be?

Chuck said...

The fact that her death seems quite clearly to have been a true suicide, it has not stopped the activists/supporters of Sandra Bland from blaming her death on the authorities. And it hasn't stopped the press from credulously reporting all of the theories about wrongdoing in her death.

Now let's see how those same media outlets do with this case.

Chuck said...

Yeah, Stuart Taylor is a national journalistic treasure. He quite literally "wrote the book" on the Duke Lacrosse case. At least he co-wrote the book.

richard mcenroe said...

Garage will feel better at least, now that he got a literal scalp...

Michael K said...

Stuart Taylor also wrote some pretty good stuff on the Clintons.

CWJ said...

It's only funny until someone dies. Apparently pbandj doesn't understand this. I usually hold back, but pbandj you really are scum!

Quaestor said...

Applause!

Taylor doesn't have the power to batter down a locked door in the wee hours of the morning, nor can he impound someones computer and personal papers, but he does have a superior forensic mind, a bulldog-like demeanor, and a national bully pulpit.
Let's see if Chisholm can take it as well as dish it out.

Humperdink said...

The most amusing line in the story " .....Chisholm told him that his wife, Colleen, a teacher’s union shop steward .....".

A school is a union "shop"? Like a steel mill? Really.

garage mahal said...

Buh bye! *cracks knuckles thirsting for more*

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

You people in Wisconsin should probably lighten up a little on politics. Buy a small cabin cruiser and tour the Great Lakes. When the waves pick up and you experience the existential fear inherent in boating all the politics will look like small stuff.



anti-de Sitter space said...

"Lutz certainly unloaded about a lot -- but maybe not about everything."

It seems just as likely (or more so) that he found out it wasn't such fun being a con pawn. After being completely milked for the Walker cause, his political ambitions as a con savoir just went up in flames: guy loses election, and then a guy kills himself. Maybe he thought that if you sell your soul to the devil, you're supposed to get something in return.

I dunno.

Anywho, pro bono con pawns may not get anywhere, but at least Walker comes through for his financial supporters that ask him to bust unions: show him the money, he'll show you the divide and conquer.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Btw, it may be noteworthy that all of his agitated calls (aka death threats) were meant to keep someone from killing themselves. Maybe this guy had suicidal thoughts for some time. A projections sort of thing?

Mister Brickhouse said...

The lion's got a twitter account: https://twitter.com/milwaukee_lion

David said...

AReasonableMan said...
You people in Wisconsin should probably lighten up a little on politics. Buy a small cabin cruiser and tour the Great Lakes. When the waves pick up and you experience the existential fear inherent in boating all the politics will look like small stuff.


Ever read "In the Lake of the Woods?" Try it.

David said...

Ugly, ugly, ugly

Michael K said...

" the existential fear inherent in boating all the politics will look like small stuff. "

I have a comment over at Chicagoboyz my own experience with "boating." I still think the John Doe thing should result in jail terms.

Mark said...

Well, there goes a key witness against the defense should Chisholm ever face trial.

Original Mike said...

"Well, there goes a key witness against the defense should Chisholm ever face trial."

That should please you.

Annie said...

Mark, how convenient, huh?


Gahrie said...

Buh bye! *cracks knuckles thirsting for more*

Careful...you're getting drool allover your brownshirt.

Mark said...

Original Mike, you are confusing asshole righty Mark with me.

I laugh at the people grasping for a conspiracy here. Anything for Walker at Althouse. We don't care if we have to use the delusional claims of the recently dead, any tinfoil hat will do.

James Pawlak said...

As tyrants have faked suicides in the past, I am not surprised at "doubts" raised in this case.

Mark said...

Shill Mark, I may be an asshole, but I'm of the Libertarian variety. I'm of the opinion that the suicides of both Sandra Bland and Michael Lutz both stink to high heaven. (I leave it up to you to determine what the instances have in common.)

I Callahan said...

You people in Wisconsin should probably lighten up a little on politics. Buy a small cabin cruiser and tour the Great Lakes. When the waves pick up and you experience the existential fear inherent in boating all the politics will look like small stuff.

I recommend a land yacht instead. I'm from Michigan, and I've traveled through Wisconsin enough times to say that it really is a nice state to visit, provided you stay away from Milwaukee and Madison for the most part. Wisconsin and Michigan are similar enough in looks that it even reminds me of home.

Original Mike said...

"Original Mike, you are confusing asshole righty Mark with me."

Your use of "righty" suggests that you are the Mark who went into a spittle flecked rage over Stuart Taylor's reporting. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Curious George said...

"Mark said...
Original Mike, you are confusing asshole righty Mark with me.

I laugh at the people grasping for a conspiracy here. Anything for Walker at Althouse. We don't care if we have to use the delusional claims of the recently dead, any tinfoil hat will do."

No he's not you fucking moron. Read it again.

And it's funny that you should "laugh at the people grasping for a conspiracy here". We've heard nothing but you and your brother in 'tard garage mahal's theories on Walker's guilt for YEARS, And all you have to show for it is a three time elected two term governor that running for POTUS.

Original Mike said...

Libertarian Mark - a long time ago I posted as just "Mike". Then, another Mike came along spouting Scientology views. I had to change my name in order to keep my reputation. You might want to do the same.

Mark said...

Spittle inflected rage?

Go ahead, make more stuff up.

Jason said...

There was another "Jason" here posting for a while. Not "Jason the commenter" but another "Jason."

Wasn't a problem when he was active though. He and I have similar writing styles and agreed on pretty much everything. Saved me a lot of time.

Original Mike said...

I believe the term you used to describe Taylor's reporting was "slanderous".

Unknown said...

As the old saying goes, "There is no such thing as a coincidence."

Jeff H said...

How many people have to die at the hands of these Dems/libs/progs/commies/Satanists [sorry for the redundancy]® before we are moved to take pitchforks, torches and ropes in hand and put a very public end to their reign of terror?

Ragin' Dave said...

I read the news article. It said he died of a "self-inflicted gunshot" while in the presence of Menomonee Falls PD after a "tactical situation".

I wonder if he shot himself in the head three or four times.

As for the goose-stepping Leftists, if you hadn't weaponized the state and used it to attack your political enemies, this wouldn't even be a thing. But since the state, from Federal down to local levels, has been used by the Left to attack the Right, it's a thing. We only have to look at your ideological brethren to figure out what you'll do.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"garage mahal said...
Buh bye! *cracks knuckles thirsting for more*"

A pity that it wasn't Bitchtits who killed himself instead of Lutz.

Oh well, obesity and Diabetes will make worm food of him eventually.

Anthony said...

The JS says he was "in a tactical situation" with a local cop. Perhaps he thought that Chisholm was still abusing the law even after the Supreme Court theoretically put a stop to the harassment, and killed himself because he thought his victory was lost?

Chisolm should be tried for Lutz' murder.

Mark said...

Original Mike, just link it if it's so damn heinous. As you aren't, I will assume you are bending the truth.

Spittle covered became 'used what I consider strong words'. Something you never do here, lol.

Once again, all you do is distract. Enjoy your tinfoil hat conspiracy party.

Original Mike said...

"just link it if it's so damn heinous. As you aren't, I will assume you are bending the truth."

No, more like I misremembered. I did go back and look and it wasn't quite as bad as I remembered and I'll be happy to apologize to you if I misunderstood what I perceived as your strenuous defense of Chisholm's actions and your denunciation of Taylor's reporting.

You're cool with the Supreme Court decision? I don't read every thread, but I didn't see you opinion on it.

Lance said...

The MJS article concludes with...

Lutz suggested that Chisholm, a Democrat, had a political agenda in overseeing a John Doe investigation of aides and associates of Republican Gov. Scott Walker during his time as Milwaukee County executive and in initiating a separate probe of Walker's campaign.

A John Doe investigation is a secret proceeding into a potentially criminal matter.


No mention that the WSC just kiboshed the investigation? Is that an oversight or does Glauber or his editors want to milk the witch hunt a bit more?

Darayvus said...

I wish I would ha' met you
Now it's a little late . . .
What you could ha' taught me
I could ha' saved some face

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWh_7NatQnU

Douglas said...

Facts are damnable things.

Mark said...

Nice qualified apology, Original Mike.

I didn't opine on the ruling as for the most part I think people who opine on such opinions all generally show their legal ignorance and 99.9% are just grinding an ax they already owned and ground before.

You don't see new people coming out of the woodwork with valid points, on either side, following a court ruling. You see the same old complainers and aggrieved with their usual incorrect prognostications. It's all Curious George and Mary Glynn and their ilk dominating their threads, preaching the end of the world as we know it.

Years later, we're all still here ... and they're still preaching following every damn ruling.

Original Mike said...

"Nice qualified apology, Original Mike."

I haven't apologized. I stand by my statement that you were a strenuous defender of Chisholm's persecution of conservatives and denounced Stuart Taylor's reporting. Am I wrong? If I am, then I will apologize.

Original Mike said...

"Nice qualified apology, Original Mike."

I haven't apologized. I stand by my statement that you were a strenuous defender of Chisholm's persecution of conservatives and denounced Taylor's reporting on it. You tell me I got that wrong and I will then apologize.