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.
Vacancies, how caused.
Except as otherwise provided, a public office is vacant when:
The incumbent ceases to be a resident of:
If the office is legislative, the district from which elected; or
If the office is a district attorney, the prosecutorial unit from which elected; or
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.
In the case of a school district office, the incumbent is absent from the district for a period exceeding 60 days.
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.
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.
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.
The incumbent neglects or refuses to execute and file an additional bond, when lawfully required, as prescribed by law.
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.
If the office is elective, the incumbent's term expires, except for the office of sheriff, coroner, register of deeds or district attorney.
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.
The offices are established upon the creation by the legislature of a new county and a new town.
Any other event occurs which is declared by any special provision of law to create a vacancy.
See s. 59.20 (1)
for county supervisor residency requirement.
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.
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).
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.
No vacancy occurs under sub. (4) when a supervisor's residence remains the same but the district boundaries have changed. 76 Atty. Gen. 10
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.
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.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1993 a. 246
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.
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.
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.
A district attorney may be removed by the governor, for cause.
Removals; legislative and appointive state officers.
Removals from office of legislative and appointive state officers may be made as follows:
Officers elected by either house of the legislature, by the house that elected them, at pleasure.
State officers appointed by the legislature, by that body, at pleasure; or by the governor during the recess of the legislature, for cause.
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.
Notwithstanding sub. (3)
, the parole commission chairperson may be removed by the governor, at pleasure.
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.
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.
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.
Council members had authority to remove the executive director of the council. Terrien v. Metropolitan Milwaukee Criminal Justice Council, 455 F. Supp. 1375
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.
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.
History: 1991 a. 316
Removal of elective county officers.
Elective county officers may be removed from office as follows:
(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.
(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.
(5) Other elective county officers.
The sheriff, coroner or register of deeds, by the governor, for cause.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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.
Notwithstanding subs. (1)
, 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.
Notwithstanding subs. (1)
, 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.
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 59.03 (1)], transfer the authority to appoint. 81 Atty. Gen. 145
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
Suspension of district attorney or sheriff. 17.11(1)(1)
If any district attorney or sheriff is arrested for or charged with any offense against the laws of this state, or if the governor is credibly informed that any district attorney or sheriff is guilty of any offense against the laws of this state, or that proceedings are pending before any court or officer involving any criminal charge against any district attorney or sheriff, or that any district attorney or sheriff willfully neglects or refuses to perform that district attorney's or sheriff's duties, the governor shall in the case of a felony and may in the case of a misdemeanor suspend the district attorney or sheriff from office until the charge shall be investigated and finally determined. The governor shall, in the case of the district attorney, appoint the attorney general or one of the attorney general's assistants or some competent attorney of the state, and the governor shall, in the case of the sheriff, appoint a suitable person, to discharge the duties of the affected office during the suspension.
The state shall pay an attorney temporarily appointed under sub. (1)
for his or her services and expenses in an amount determined and fixed by the governor.
The county in which a person is temporarily appointed sheriff under sub. (1)
shall pay the appointed sheriff for his or her services in an amount determined and fixed by the governor and certified by the governor to the county clerk of the county.
Any attorney so temporarily appointed shall have all the power and discharge all the duties of the district attorney and that attorney shall speedily bring to a hearing and determination any charges made against the district attorney so suspended. Any person so temporarily appointed as sheriff shall have all the power and discharge all the duties of sheriff.
If it is determined in the action or proceeding or is found upon the investigation that a district attorney or sheriff suspended under this section is not guilty of an offense, or has not willfully neglected or refused to perform his or her duties, as charged, that fact shall be certified by the governor to the department of administration if a district attorney is involved or to the county clerk of the sheriff's county if a sheriff is involved. Upon the certification, the district attorney or sheriff shall be:
Entitled to the emoluments of the office for the time he or she would have served in the office had he or she not been suspended under this section; and
Restored to office if the term for which he or she was elected or appointed has not expired.
This section in no manner affects provisions of law relating to the removal from office of the district attorney or sheriff.
History: 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 316
Removal and suspension of city officers. 17.12(1)(1)
General and special charter.
Officers of cities, except public officials, as defined in s. 62.51 (1) (b)
, operating under the general law or under special charter including school officers, may be removed as follows:
Elective officers by recall as provided in s. 9.10
, or by the common council, for cause.
An appointed officer may be removed in any of the following manners:
An officer appointed by the common council, by the common council, at pleasure.
An officer appointed by an officer or body other than the common council, whether or not the appointment was confirmed by the common council, in any of the following manners: