17.02 History History: 1977 c. 305; 1991 a. 316.
17.025 17.025 Temporary vacancies.
17.025(1)(1)Existence. Whenever the duly qualified incumbent of an office enumerated in sub. (4) is found to be unable to perform all of the functions of the office by incapacitation caused by illness or injury of any nature, a temporary vacancy exists.
17.025(2) (2)How convened.
17.025(2)(a) (a) Voluntary petition. Whenever the incumbent of an office enumerated in sub. (4), or the incumbent's duly appointed guardian, files a written petition for a hearing to determine the incumbent's incapacitation with any member of the board requesting a hearing, the disability board shall be convened within 5 days from the date of filing said petition.
17.025(2)(b) (b) Involuntary petition. Whenever a written petition duly signed by any 4 members of the disability board is filed with the board requesting a hearing to determine the incapacitation of the incumbent of an office enumerated in sub. (4), the board shall be convened within 5 days from the date of filing said petition. The petition shall be signed by at least one member of each of the political parties represented on the board.
17.025(3) (3)Hearing.
17.025(3)(a) (a) When held. Whenever the disability board has been convened it shall conduct a hearing to determine whether a temporary vacancy exists.
17.025(3)(b) (b) Proceedings. In the conduct of the hearing any member of the board shall have the right to administer oaths, to summon and compel attendance of witnesses, and to sign and issue a subpoena. The board shall keep a record of its proceedings and a phonographic transcript shall be taken, made a part of the files and transcribed only by order of the board. The files and records of the board in proceedings under this section shall be kept in locked files and shall not be open to inspection except upon specific permission of the board. In any action or special proceeding in a court of record, such files and records shall be made available by special order of such court.
17.025(3)(c) (c) Quorum. A quorum shall consist of 6 members. Findings shall be effective only by a secret affirmative vote of 6 members of the disability board. Said findings shall be final without right of appeal, except that after a finding of disability or inability to act, the affected incumbent may appeal such finding pursuant to ch. 227. The appeal shall be limited to the board record. The finding of disability or inability to act shall remain in effect during the pendency of such appeal.
17.025(3)(d) (d) Findings. After a hearing by the disability board and a finding of disability or inability to act has been filed, a written certificate of temporary incapacity signed and authorized by the board members shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state not later than the next succeeding legal workday and when so filed shall create a temporary vacancy in such affected elected office. In the event of a finding of no disability by failure to secure 6 affirmative votes in support of the petition, the board shall dismiss the petition.
17.025(3)(e) (e) Rehearing. The disability board shall conduct rehearings in accordance with pars. (b) and (c). A rehearing before the disability board to reconsider an existing finding of temporary incapacitation shall be held when petitioned as provided in sub. (2), but no such rehearing shall be held unless 3 months have elapsed from the date of the conclusion of the original hearing or the most recent rehearing. When the existing finding of disability or inability to act was made pursuant to a voluntary petition under sub. (2) (a) and more than 3 months have elapsed since such finding, such affected incumbent may file a declaration of fitness. Upon the filing of such declaration the board may reconvene on call of any member and conduct a rehearing to determine such incumbent's ability to serve. Failure to reconvene the board within 15 days from the date of filing of such declaration shall result in voiding the finding of disability or inability to act, and restore the incumbent to office.
17.025(3)(f) (f) Removal of disability. After a board rehearing and a finding of a removal of the disability and, therefore, an ability to act, a written certificate of such finding shall be signed and authorized by the board members and shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state not later than the next succeeding legal workday and when so filed shall rescind the previously filed certificate of temporary incapacity. At such time the regularly elected incumbent shall resume the office.
17.025(4) (4)Affected offices and how filled during disability. Whenever the board has made a finding that a temporary vacancy exists in the following offices, such office shall be filled for the period of such temporary vacancy or the balance of the unexpired term, whichever is the shorter period, as follows:
17.025(4)(a) (a) Governor. When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of governor, the duties of the governor shall automatically be assumed by the lieutenant governor as required by article V, section 7, of the constitution.
17.025(4)(b) (b) Lieutenant governor. When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of lieutenant governor during the continuance of a vacancy in the office of governor, the duties of the office of governor shall be assumed by the secretary of state as required by article V, section 8, of the constitution.
17.025(4)(c) (c) Secretary of state; state treasurer. When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of secretary of state or in the office of state treasurer, the duties of the office shall be assumed, respectively, by the first emergency interim successor designated under s. 323.53 (2) or, if no such designation has been made for the respective office, then by a deputy appointed by the governor.
17.025(4)(d) (d) Attorney general; state superintendent. When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of attorney general or in the office of state superintendent of public instruction, the duties of the office shall be assumed, respectively, by the deputy under s. 15.04 (2) or, if such office is vacant, by a deputy appointed by the governor.
17.03 17.03 Vacancies, how caused. Except as otherwise provided, a public office is vacant when:
17.03(1) (1)The incumbent dies.
17.03(2) (2)The incumbent resigns.
17.03(3) (3)The incumbent is removed.
17.03(4) (4)The incumbent ceases to be a resident of:
17.03(4)(a) (a) This state; or
17.03(4)(b) (b) If the office is legislative, the district from which elected; or
17.03(4)(bm) (bm) If the office is a district attorney, the prosecutorial unit from which elected; or
17.03(4)(c) (c) If the office is local and elective, the county, city, village, town, district or area from which elected, except as provided in ss. 60.30 (6), 119.08 (1) (c) and 120.05 (1) (d); or
17.03(4)(d) (d) If the office is local and appointive, and residency, subject to s. 66.0502, is a local requirement, the county, city, village, town, district, or area within which the duties of the office are required to be discharged.
17.03(4m) (4m)In the case of a school district office, the incumbent is absent from the district for a period exceeding 60 days.
17.03(5) (5)Whether or not sentenced to imprisonment, the incumbent is convicted and sentenced by a state or federal court for treason, felony or other crime of whatsoever nature punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison for one year or more, or for any offense involving a violation of the incumbent's official oath. A vacancy so created is not affected by a stay of execution of judgment. Reversal of the judgment, but not a pardon, immediately restores the incumbent to office if the term has not expired and entitles the incumbent to the emoluments of the office for the time the incumbent would have served in the office but for the judgment.
17.03(6) (6)A competent tribunal voids the election or appointment; or adjudges the incumbent to be incapable of understanding the objective of the elective process; or places the incumbent under guardianship, unless the court finds that the incumbent is competent to exercise the right to vote.
17.03(7) (7)A person elected or appointed or reelected or reappointed to any office neglects or refuses to take and file the official oath or to execute or renew the official bond if required, or to file the oath or bond as prescribed by law.
17.03(8) (8)The incumbent neglects or refuses to execute and file an additional bond, when lawfully required, as prescribed by law.
17.03(9) (9)A person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy or for a full term declines the office in writing or dies before qualifying or declines in writing or dies before the time when, by law, the person should enter upon the duties of the office to which elected or appointed.
17.03(10) (10)If the office is elective, the incumbent's term expires, except for the office of sheriff, coroner, register of deeds or district attorney.
17.03(11) (11)If the office is a school board seat, the first annual school meeting of a school district fails to elect school board members for the district.
17.03(12) (12)The offices are established upon the creation by the legislature of a new county and a new town.
17.03(13) (13)Any other event occurs which is declared by any special provision of law to create a vacancy.
17.03 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 59.20 (1) for county supervisor residency requirement.
17.03 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 196.675 for vacancies in office if district attorney, city attorney, assistant city attorney, or judicial officer is employed by a common carrier.
17.03 Annotation City officers are subject to s. 17.03 vacancy provisions. Wellnitz v. Wauwatosa Police & Fire Commissioners, 151 Wis. 2d 306, 444 N.W.2d 412 (Ct. App. 1989).
17.03 Annotation The felony conviction and sentencing of a state senator creates a vacancy in the office without any action by the senate. 65 Atty. Gen. 264.
17.03 Annotation No vacancy occurs under sub. (4) when a supervisor's residence remains the same but the district boundaries have changed. 76 Atty. Gen. 10.
17.035 17.035 Vacancies; military leaves.
17.035(1)(1)If an elected or appointed official or employee of any city, village, town or school district however organized shall enter the armed forces of the United States and shall remove himself or herself temporarily from the municipality or district for which that person is an officer or employee such temporary removal shall constitute a temporary vacancy in such office or position.
17.035(3) (3)Temporary vacancies shall be filled as other vacancies are filled, except that no election need be held to fill any part of a temporary vacancy. The term of the person appointed temporarily shall not extend beyond the expiration of the term of the officer or employee who entered federal service. In the event the original officer or employee completes the federal service and returns to the district or municipality during his or her original term of office, the officer or employee may file with the clerk of the district or municipality, within 40 days of completing the federal service, a statement under oath that the federal service has terminated and that the officer or employee elects to resume the office or position. Upon the filing of the statement the term of the temporary officer or employee shall cease, and the returning officer or employee shall be entitled to resume the duties of the office.
17.035 History History: 1991 a. 316; 1993 a. 246.
17.05 17.05 Governor may declare vacancies. The governor may declare vacant the office of any state officer required by law to execute an official bond whenever a judgment is obtained against such officer for a breach of the conditions of such bond.
17.06 17.06 Removal of state officers; impeachment; address.
17.06(1)(1)Any civil officer of this state may be removed from office by impeachment for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors as provided in article VII, section 1, of the constitution; and any supreme court justice or circuit court judge may also be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature as provided in article VII, section 13, of the constitution.
17.06(2) (2)In this section, “address" means a procedure for removal of a judge from office based on a document entitled “Address" which specifies charges against a judge alleging misconduct or that the judge is not physically or mentally qualified to exercise the judicial functions of the judge's office. A copy of the address containing the charges against the judge shall be served upon the judge. The judge shall have the opportunity of being heard to present a defense against the charges. The judge may be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature if two-thirds of all members elected to each house concur therein.
17.06(3) (3)A district attorney may be removed by the governor, for cause.
17.06 History History: 1971 c. 142; 1983 a. 192; 1989 a. 31; 1991 a. 316.
17.07 17.07 Removals; legislative and appointive state officers. Removals from office of legislative and appointive state officers may be made as follows:
17.07(1) (1)Officers elected by either house of the legislature, by the house that elected them, at pleasure.
17.07(2) (2)State officers appointed by the legislature, by that body, at pleasure; or by the governor during the recess of the legislature, for cause.
17.07(3) (3)State officers serving in an office that is filled by appointment of the governor for a fixed term by and with the advice and consent of the senate, or serving in an office that is filled by appointment of any other officer or body for a fixed term subject to the concurrence of the governor, by the governor at any time, for cause.
17.07(3m) (3m)Notwithstanding sub. (3), the parole commission chairperson may be removed by the governor, at pleasure.
17.07(4) (4)State officers serving in an office that is filled by appointment of the governor with the advice and consent of the senate to serve at the pleasure of the governor, or serving in an office that is filled by appointment of any other officer or body for an indefinite term subject to the concurrence of the governor, by the governor at any time.
17.07(5) (5)State officers serving in an office that is filled by appointment of the governor alone for a fixed or indefinite term or to supply a vacancy in any office, elective or appointive, except justices of the supreme court and judges and the adjutant general, by the governor at pleasure; the adjutant general, by the governor, at any time, for cause or for withdrawal of federal recognition of his or her commission under 32 USC 323; and all officers appointed by the governor during the recess of the legislature whose appointments are required to be later confirmed by the senate shall be deemed to be appointed by the governor alone until so confirmed.
17.07(6) (6)Other state officers serving in an office that is filled by appointment of any officer or body without the concurrence of the governor, by the officer or body having the authority to make appointments to that office, at pleasure, except that officers appointed according to merit and fitness under and subject to ch. 230 or officers whose removal is governed by ch. 230 may be removed only in conformity with that chapter.
17.07 Annotation Council members had authority to remove the executive director of the council. Terrien v. Metropolitan Milwaukee Criminal Justice Council, 455 F. Supp. 1375 (1978).
17.08 17.08 Suspension of receiver of moneys.
17.08(1)(1)The governor may summarily suspend from office any appointive state officer who collects, receives or handles public moneys, if it appears to the governor by reason of action, proceedings, charges or credible information that the officer has in any particular willfully neglected the officer's duty in connection with public moneys. The suspension shall continue until the final determination of the action or proceedings or of the investigation of the charges or information, or pending any proceedings to remove the officer from office as provided by law for neglect of duty, and a competent person shall be appointed, in the manner and by the appointing power prescribed for filling vacancies in the affected office, to discharge the duties of the officer during the officer's suspension. If it is determined in the action or proceedings or is found upon investigation that the officer has not in any particular willfully neglected the officer's duty in connection with public moneys, and that fact is certified to the secretary of state by the judge, governor or other officer who conducted the action, proceedings or investigation, the suspended officer, unless the officer has been removed from office for any cause provided by law, shall thereby be restored to office, if the term for which the officer was elected or appointed has not expired, and shall thereby become entitled to the emoluments of the office for all of the time the officer would have served therein had the officer not been suspended as herein provided.
17.08(2) (2)This section in no manner impairs or restricts the power of the governor or other officer or body to remove any officer from office as provided by law.
17.08 History History: 1991 a. 316.
17.09 17.09 Removal of elective county officers. Elective county officers may be removed from office as follows:
17.09(1) (1)County clerk; treasurer; surveyor; supervisor. The county clerk, county treasurer or surveyor, or a county supervisor, by the county board, for cause, by a vote of two-thirds of all the supervisors entitled to seats on such board.
17.09(2) (2)Clerk of circuit court. The clerk of the circuit court, by the judge or a majority of judges of the circuit court for the clerk's county, for cause.
17.09(5) (5)Other elective county officers. The sheriff, coroner or register of deeds, by the governor, for cause.
17.09 History History: 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 32; 1989 a. 31.
17.09 Annotation Removal is governed by s. 17.16 and contemplates a determination of cause by the board. An ordinance making a violation ipso facto cause for removal impermissibly circumvents that procedure. 66 Atty. Gen. 148.
17.10 17.10 Removal of appointive county officers.
17.10(1)(1)Appointed by governor. County officers appointed by the governor may be removed at pleasure by the governor.
17.10(2) (2)Appointed by county board. County officers appointed by the county board may be removed at pleasure by the county board. All removals may be made by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the supervisors entitled to seats on the county board. Removal of personnel supported by federal funds shall comply with federal law applicable to those personnel.
17.10(3) (3)Appointed by chairperson of county board. County officers appointed by the chairperson of the county board may be removed at pleasure by the chairperson, except members of the county civil service commission who may be removed at pleasure by the county board under sub. (2). A county commissioner of elections so removed may appeal to the county board within 10 days after removal; the county board shall conduct a hearing in the manner determined by it and shall determine the question of removal.
17.10(4) (4)Appointed by the circuit judge. County officers appointed by a judge or judges of the circuit court may be removed at pleasure by the judge or a majority of the judges authorized to appoint the officers' successors.
17.10(5) (5)Appointed by the county judge. County officers appointed by the county judge may be removed at pleasure by the circuit judge or a majority of the circuit judges authorized to appoint the officers' successors.
17.10(6) (6)Others. All other appointive county officers may be removed at pleasure by the officer or body that appointed them. Removals by a body, other than the county board, consisting of 3 or more members may be made by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members thereof.
17.10(7) (7)General exception.
17.10(7)(a) (a) Notwithstanding subs. (1) to (6), county officers appointed according to merit and fitness under and subject to a civil service law, or whose removal is governed by such a law, shall be removed only as therein provided.
17.10(7)(b) (b) Notwithstanding subs. (1) to (6), a county may by ordinance provide that any county officer appointed by the county board or the chairperson of the county board may be removed only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, official misconduct, or malfeasance in office. This paragraph does not apply to an officer who is appointed to the classified civil service of the county or who serves at the pleasure of an appointing authority other than the county board or chairperson of the county board.
17.10 Annotation In a county that does not have a county executive or administrator, the personnel committee of the county board does not possess the statutory authority to remove the county social services director. The county board may not, under s. 59.025, 1993 stats., [now s. 59.03 (1)], transfer the authority to appoint. 81 Atty. Gen. 145.
17.10 Annotation Removal of the chairperson of a county board may be at the will of a simple majority of the board under s. 59.12. This section is inapplicable. Sub. (2) applies only to persons who are removed from a position as a county officer. Ending the tenure of a member of the county board as chair of the board does not oust that member from county office but only from a particular position on the board. OAG 1-07.
17.11 17.11 Suspension of district attorney or sheriff.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 50 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on December 6, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after December 6, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-6-19)