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17.13(3) (3)All officers. Any village, town, town sanitary district, school district or technical college district officer, elective or appointive, including those embraced within subs. (1) and (2), by the judge of the circuit court of the circuit wherein the village, town, town sanitary district, school district or technical college district is situated, for cause.
17.13 Annotation If a statute provides that a public officer, including VTAE (technical college) board members, serves at pleasure but is appointed for a term, the officer may be summarily dismissed during the term. 62 Atty. Gen. 97.
17.13 Annotation A town board was restrained from discharging its police chief until the issue of impermissible consideration of the chief's political activities was resolved. Kuhlmann v. Bloomfield Township, 521 F. Supp. 1242 (1981).
17.14 17.14 Removal; assessors; boards of review; county boards; procedure. Any assessor and any member of a board of review or of a county board of supervisors, in addition to being removable as otherwise provided, may be removed by the circuit court for the county of the assessor or member, as follows:
17.14(1) (1)Assessors. Any assessor for one or more of the following causes:
17.14(1)(a) (a) Willful or intentional assessment of property at other than its true cash value with the intent to subject such property to more or less than its lawful share of taxes.
17.14(1)(b) (b) Willful or intentional omission of taxable property from the assessment roll with intent to permit the same to escape taxation.
17.14(1)(c) (c) Willful or intentional assessment of the property of one person at a lower value than the property of another or others whereby favoritism or discrimination between taxpayers in the district is shown.
17.14(1)(d) (d) Solicitation or receipt of any favor, reward, money or other thing of value of or from the owner of any taxable property in the assessor's assessment district for the assessment or valuation of property at other than its true cash value.
17.14(1)(e) (e) Solicitation or demand by any assessor of any owner of property liable to assessment in the assessor's assessment district to aid, assist or promote the business or interests of such assessor by means of which and by virtue of the office of assessor the assessor shall gain or receive pecuniary profit or advantage that the assessor could not otherwise have gained or received.
17.14(1)(f) (f) Any violation of law in the valuation or assessment of property in the assessor's assessment district.
17.14(1)(g) (g) Failure to use the "Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual" provided under s. 73.03 (2a) and as required by s. 70.32 (1) and 70.34. The certification of any assessor removed under this paragraph may for sufficient reason be reinstated by the secretary of revenue after one year upon formal application for reinstatement.
17.14(1)(h) (h) Failure or refusal to deny claims for exemption or to terminate exemptions pursuant to direction of the secretary of revenue under s. 73.03 (45).
17.14(2) (2)Members of boards of review and county board. Any supervisor, alderperson, trustee or other officer who acts as a member of a board of review or of the county board of supervisors, for one or more of the following causes:
17.14(2)(a) (a) Willful or intentional valuation or equalization of property of persons or towns, cities or villages at other than the true cash value thereof, with the intent to subject the property of persons or of towns, cities or villages to more or less than their lawful share of taxes.
17.14(2)(b) (b) Aiding, abetting or assisting in any understanding, combination or conspiracy to value or equalize the property in towns, cities or villages in a county at other than the true cash value, with intent to subject the property in one or more towns, cities or villages to more or less than its lawful share of taxes for state or county purposes or both.
17.14(2)(c) (c) Any violation of law in the valuation or equalization of property in towns, cities or villages or in the discharge of official duties.
17.14(3) (3)Procedure. Removals under this section may be made by the circuit judge, by order specifying the cause thereof, a copy of which order shall be certified by the circuit judge to the proper town, village or city clerk. The removal shall be made only upon a duly verified petition signed by a resident of the county setting forth fully the charges preferred against the officer. The district attorney of the county upon complaint showing cause therefor shall prepare the petition and have the petition duly verified by the complainant. The judge, upon the presentation of the petition, shall by an order to show cause, which shall be served upon the officer personally at least 10 days prior to the hearing, fix a time and place for hearing the matters alleged in the petition. The testimony shall be taken and the proceedings conducted under such reasonable regulations as the judge prescribes. The district attorney shall attend the hearing and conduct the proceedings on behalf of the petitioner. The removal of the officer shall disqualify the officer from holding the office for 3 years from the date of the order of removal.
17.14(4) (4)Costs. If the court, after a hearing on the merits, dismisses the petition and further finds the complaint was willful and malicious and without probable cause, the court shall order judgment in favor of the officer and against the petitioner for $10 attorney fees and for the costs and fees of witnesses and officers incurred on behalf of the officer. The judgment shall be signed by the clerk of circuit court and entered in the judgment and lien docket. An execution may be issued against the property of the petitioner in the same mode as upon a judgment entered in the circuit court in civil actions founded in tort. Upon the return of the execution unsatisfied in whole or in part, an execution against the person of the petitioner may be issued in the manner and with the force and effect of an execution against the person as provided in ss. 815.01 to 815.10. In all other cases the judge may order that the expenses incurred in procuring witnesses and other needed actual expenses be paid out of the treasury of the county in which the officer resides upon certificates of the clerk of circuit court.
17.14 History History: 1973 c. 90; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 773 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1977 c. 418, 449; 1991 a. 39, 316; 1993 a. 184, 224.
17.15 17.15 Removals; other officers.
17.15(1) (1) Joint county institutions. Any member of the governing body of any joint county school, hospital, sanatorium, asylum or other joint county institution, appointed by the county board of any county, may be removed by said county board, for cause; and any other officer of any such institution may be removed by the officer or body that appointed the officer, for cause.
17.15(3) (3)Dane County lakes and watershed commission. Any commissioner of the Dane County lakes and watershed commission appointed under s. 33.44 (1) (c) to (g) may be removed by the appointing authority for cause.
17.15(3m) (3m)Southeastern Wisconsin Fox River commission. Any commissioner of the Southeastern Wisconsin Fox River commission appointed under s. 33.55 (2) (b) or (c) may be removed by the appointing authority for cause.
17.15(5) (5)Long-term care district. Any member of a long-term care district governing board appointed under s. 46.2895 (3) (a) may be removed by the appointing authority for cause.
17.15 History History: 1989 a. 324; 1991 a. 39, 316; Sup. Ct. Order No. 96-08, 207 Wis. 2d xv (1997); 1997 a. 27; 1999 a. 9; 2001 a. 16; 2007 a. 20.
17.16 17.16 Removals; definition; procedure; disqualification.
17.16(1)(1) Removals from office at pleasure shall be made by order, a copy of which shall be filed as provided by sub. (8), except that a copy of the order of removal of a circuit court commissioner shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court.
17.16(3) (3) Removals from office for cause under this chapter, except as provided in s. 17.14, shall be made as provided in this section, and may be made only upon written verified charges brought by a resident taxpayer of the governmental unit of which the person against whom the charges are filed is an officer, and after a speedy public hearing at which the officer shall have full opportunity to be heard to present a defense against the charges, personally and by counsel. A copy of the charges and written notice of the time and place for the hearing shall be given the officer by the removing power by delivery to the officer in person or by mailing the same to the officer at the officer's last and usual post-office address not less than 10 days prior to the hearing. The officer may within 10 days from service of the charges file with the removing power a verified answer thereto. The hearing shall be conducted and investigation made by the removing power with due dispatch, but in case of charges brought before the governor, the governor may appoint a commissioner to conduct the hearing, make the investigation and report the testimony and proceedings to the governor, and the council of any city having a membership of more than 20, in case of charges brought before it, may appoint a committee of not less than 5 of its members, to conduct the hearing, make investigation and report the testimony and proceedings to it. The commissioner or committee shall have the same power and authority as the governor or the council, as the case may be, in the conduct of the hearing on and investigation of the charges.
17.16(4) (4) The removing power may, before acting upon any charges preferred against any officer, require the person preferring the same to execute and deliver to such power a bond in the sum of $1,000 with one or more sureties to be approved by such power, conditioned for the payment of all costs and expenses actually incurred by the state, county or other unit of which the person charged is an officer and by the removing power in the hearing and investigation of such charges.
17.16(5) (5) The removing power, and in case such power consists of more than one person, each such person is authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence, and may make and enforce such orders and rules as are necessary to properly conduct such hearing and may appoint and fix the compensation of a stenographer to take testimony thereat.
17.16(7) (7)
17.16(7)(a)(a) No person may be excused from testifying or from producing evidence on the hearing for the reason that the testimony, documentary or otherwise, required of him or her may tend to incriminate him or her, but no person so testifying may be prosecuted for or on account of testifying or producing any documentary evidence, except for perjury committed in giving the testimony.
17.16(7)(b) (b) The immunity provided under par. (a) is subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085.
17.16(8) (8) Removals from office for cause shall be by order, a certified copy of which, together with a complete transcript of the testimony and proceedings at the hearing and a statement of the cause or causes for which removal is made, shall be filed by the removing power as follows:
17.16(8)(a) (a) In the case of a state officer, in the office of the secretary of state.
17.16(8)(b) (b) In the case of other officers, in the office of the clerk of the unit of which the person removed was an officer.
17.16(8)(c) (c) In the case of officers of joint county institutions, in the office of the county clerk of the county wherein the buildings of such institution are located.
17.16(9) (9) In the case of procedure for removals by the governor, all expenses incurred shall be paid upon vouchers duly certified by the governor and shall be charged to the appropriation provided in s. 20.525. In the case of procedure for removals by any other state officer or body, such expenses shall be paid out of the appropriation to the officer or body invested with power to remove. In case of procedure for removals by other officers or bodies, the expenses thereof shall be paid by the unit of government of which the person against whom charges are preferred was an officer. But if the removing power finds that the complaint was willful and malicious and without probable cause all such expenses shall be paid by the person who preferred the charges and may be collected in an action against the person or on the bond furnished by the person.
17.16(10) (10) A person lawfully removed from office shall be ineligible to appointment or election to fill the vacancy caused by such removal.
17.16 History History: 1989 a. 122; 1991 a. 316; Sup. Ct. Order No. 96-08, 207 Wis. 2d xv (1997); 2001 a. 61, 103.
17.16 Annotation The common council's removal of an employee statutorily entitled to the position deprives the employee of both liberty and property; therefore, employee is entitled to full due-process protections. Aldermen who initiated removal proceedings were not thereby disqualified as impartial adjudicators. State ex rel. DeLuca v. Common Council, 72 Wis. 2d 672, 242 N.W.2d 689 (1976).
17.16 Annotation "Expenses" under sub. (9) relates solely to expenses incurred by the "removing power", not by the person bringing written charges. In Matter of Petition to Remove Kamps, 118 Wis. 2d 482, 347 N.W.2d 911 (Ct. App. 1984).
17.16 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.
17.17 17.17 Notice of vacancies. Notice of vacancies occurring otherwise than by resignation shall be given forthwith as follows:
17.17(1) (1)Senators and members of congress. In the office of United States senator or member of congress from this state, by the county clerk of the county wherein such officer resided at the time of election, to the government accountability board.
17.17(3) (3)Vacancies by judgments. In any office occurring by virtue of a judgment of a court of this state convicting the incumbent of and sentencing the incumbent for treason, felony or other crime of whatsoever nature punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison for one year or more, or convicting the incumbent of and sentencing the incumbent for any offense involving a violation of the incumbent's official oath; or declaring the election or appointment of any officer to be void or that the office of any officer has been forfeited, or become vacant; or adjudging any officer to be insane, by the clerk of such court to the officer or body authorized to fill such vacancies, or if such vacancies are required to be filled only by election, then to the officer authorized to give notice thereof.
17.17(4) (4)Justices and judges. In the office of justice of the supreme court, court of appeals judge, or judge of a circuit court, by the director of state courts to the governor and the government accountability board.
17.17(5) (5)Other vacancies. In city, village, town or school district offices, other than those of which notice is required by sub. (3), by the clerk or in the clerk's absence by the treasurer thereof, and in state, county and other offices other than those of which notice is required by sub. (3), by the county clerk of the county wherein the officer resided at the time of election or appointment, or in the clerk's absence by the sheriff, to the officer or body authorized to fill such vacancies, or if such vacancies are required to be filled only by election, then to the officer authorized to give notice thereof.
17.17 History History: 1973 c. 334 s. 57; 1977 c. 187, 449; Sup. Ct. Order, 88 Wis. 2d xiii (1979); 1991 a. 316; 2007 a. 1.
17.18 17.18 Vacancies, U.S. senator and representative in congress; how filled. Vacancies in the office of U.S. senator or representative in congress from this state shall be filled by election, as provided in s. 8.50 (4) (b), for the residue of the unexpired term.
17.18 History History: 1977 c. 22; 1979 c. 260; 1983 a. 484; 1985 a. 304.
17.19 17.19 Vacancies, elective state offices; how filled. Vacancies in elective state offices shall be filled as follows:
17.19(1) (1)Members of legislature. In the office of state senator or representative to the assembly, by election, as provided in s. 8.50, for the residue of the unexpired term. In addition, an anticipated vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the assembly may be filled as provided in s. 8.50 (4) (e).
17.19(2) (2)Judicial. In the office of justice of the supreme court, court of appeals judge or circuit judge, by temporary appointment by the governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected, as provided in s. 8.50 (4) (f), and qualifies. When so elected the successor shall hold the office for a full term and shall take office on August 1 succeeding the election.
17.19(3) (3)Presidential electors. In the office of presidential elector, by the remaining electors present in the manner prescribed by s. 7.75.
17.19(3m) (3m)Governor. In the office of governor, by the lieutenant governor.
17.19(3s) (3s)District attorney. In the office of district attorney, by appointment of the governor for the residue of the unexpired term and until a successor is elected and qualified.
17.19(4) (4)Other elective state officers. In the office of secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general or state superintendent, by appointment by the governor, and a person so appointed shall hold office until a successor is elected, as provided in s. 8.50, and qualifies, but if no such election is held, the person so appointed shall hold office for the residue of the unexpired term.
17.20 17.20 Vacancies in appointive state offices; how filled; terms.
17.20(1)(1) General. Vacancies in appointive state offices shall be filled by appointment by the appointing power and in the manner prescribed by law for making regular full term appointments thereto, and appointees to fill vacancies therein shall hold office for the residue of the unexpired term or, if no definite term of office is fixed by law, until their successors are appointed and qualify.
17.20(2) (2)Interim vacancies; terms.
17.20(2)(a)(a) Vacancies occurring in the office of any officer normally nominated by the governor, and with the advice and consent of the senate appointed, may be filled by a provisional appointment by the governor for the residue of the unexpired term, if any, subject to confirmation by the senate. Any such appointment shall be in full force until acted upon by the senate, and when confirmed by the senate shall continue for the residue of the unexpired term, if any, or until a successor is chosen and qualifies. A provisional appointee may exercise all of the powers and duties of the office to which such person is appointed during the time in which the appointee qualifies. Any appointment made under this paragraph which is withdrawn or rejected by the senate shall lapse. When a provisional appointment lapses, a vacancy occurs. Whenever a new legislature is organized, any appointments then pending before the senate shall be referred by the president to the appropriate standing committee of the newly organized senate.
17.20(2)(b) (b) A vacancy occurring in the membership of the professional standards council for teachers may be filled by a provisional appointment by the state superintendent of public instruction for the residue of the unexpired term, if any, subject to confirmation by the senate. Any such appointment shall be in full force until acted upon by the senate, and when confirmed by the senate shall continue for the residue of the unexpired term, if any, or until a successor is chosen and qualifies. A provisional appointee may exercise all of the powers and duties of the office to which the person is appointed during the time in which the appointee qualifies. Any appointment made under this paragraph that is withdrawn or rejected by the senate shall lapse. When a provisional appointment lapses, a vacancy occurs. Whenever a new legislature is organized, any appointments then pending before the senate shall be referred by the president to the appropriate standing committee of the newly organized senate.
17.20 History History: 1973 c. 24; 1977 c. 29 s. 1649; 1977 c. 418; 1997 a. 298.
17.20 Annotation Provisional appointees under sub. (2) need not be confirmed by the senate before they can begin to serve. 69 Atty. Gen. 136.
17.20 Annotation The senate may not fill a vacancy that will not occur during that senate session. 76 Atty. Gen. 272.
17.21 17.21 Vacancies in elective county offices; how filled; term. Vacancies in elective county offices shall be filled in the manner and for terms as follows:
17.21(1) (1)Sheriff, coroner, register of deeds. In the office of sheriff, coroner or register of deeds, by appointment by the governor for the residue of the unexpired term.
17.21(3) (3)County clerk, treasurer, and surveyor. In the office of county clerk, treasurer, or surveyor, by appointment by the county board for the residue of the unexpired term unless a special election is ordered by the county board, in which case the person appointed shall serve until his or her successor is elected and qualified. The county board may, if a vacancy occurs before June 1 in the year preceding expiration of the term of office, order a special election to fill the vacancy. If the county board orders a special election during the period beginning on June 1 and ending on November 30 of any year, the special election shall be held concurrently with the succeeding spring election. If the county board orders a special election during the period beginning on December 1 and ending on May 31 of the succeeding year, the special election shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November following the date of the order. A person so elected shall serve for the residue of the unexpired term.
17.21(4m) (4m)Clerk of court. In the office of clerk of circuit court, by appointment of the judge, or by a majority of the judges of the circuit court for the county, for the residue of the unexpired term of the clerk.
17.21(5) (5)Supervisors, populous counties. In the office of county supervisor of counties having a population of at least 500,000, according to the last U.S. census, by election for the residue of the unexpired term on the first Tuesday of April next after the vacancy happens, in case it happens no later than December 1 preceding the first Tuesday in April, but if the vacancy happens after December 1 preceding the first Tuesday in April, then such successor shall be elected on the first Tuesday of April of the next ensuing year; but no election to fill a vacancy in the office may be held at the time of holding the regular election for such office. In addition to the elections required under this subsection, the county executive may order a special election to be held under s. 8.50 to fill the vacancy. If an assembly district in the county is altered by legislative redistricting effective prior to the end of an existing supervisor term and a vacancy happens, the person elected to fill that vacancy for the residue of the unexpired term shall be an elector of the assembly district as it existed prior to redistricting.
17.21(6) (6)Appointments, how reported. For the information of all concerned appointments by the governor under sub. (1) shall be reported by the appointing officer to the county clerk. Appointments of the county board under sub. (3) shall be reported by the county clerk to the secretary of state. Appointments of clerks of court by a judge of the circuit court under sub. (4m) shall be reported to the county clerk and to the secretary of state.
17.21 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 59.10 (3) (e) for method of filling vacancies on county boards.
17.22 17.22 Vacancies in appointive county offices; how filled.
17.22(1)(1) Vacancies in any appointive county office shall be filled by appointment for the residue of the unexpired term by the appointing power and in the manner prescribed by law for making regular full term appointments thereto; but any person elected or appointed to fill a permanent vacancy in the office of county highway commissioner shall serve for the term prescribed under s. 83.01 (2). All appointments, subject to confirmation by the county board, made while the board is not in session, shall be acted upon by said board at its meeting next following such appointment.
17.22(2) (2) Vacancies in the offices of officers appointed by the county board, occurring when the board is not in session, shall be filled in manner and for terms as follows:
17.22(2)(b) (b) In the office of the county highway commissioner, by appointment by the county highway committee. A person so appointed shall hold office until his or her successor is elected or appointed and qualified. The person's successor, if the office is regularly filled by election, shall be elected by the county board at a meeting held no later than 120 days after the date on which the vacancy occurs. The person's successor, if the office is regularly filled by appointment, shall be appointed as provided in s. 83.01 (1). The person's successor shall take office upon his or her election or appointment and qualification and shall hold office for the term prescribed under s. 83.01 (2).
17.22(2)(d) (d) In the office of any other officer appointed by the county board, by temporary appointment by the chairperson of the county board. A person so appointed shall hold office until a successor is appointed and qualifies, and the successor shall be appointed by the county board for the residue of the unexpired term at its meeting next after such vacancy occurred.
17.22 History History: 1983 a. 192; 1991 a. 316; 2005 a. 401.
17.22 AnnotationTerms and vacancies in appointive county offices are discussed. 73 Atty. Gen. 99.
17.23 17.23 Vacancies in city offices; how filled.
17.23(1) (1) General and special charter cities. Vacancies in offices of cities operating under the general law or special charter shall be filled as follows:
17.23(1)(a) (a) In cities of the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th class, in the office of mayor, except as provided in s. 9.10, by appointment by the common council for the residue of the unexpired term unless a special election is ordered by the common council, in which case the person appointed shall serve until his or her successor is elected and qualified. In the office of alderperson, by the common council, except as provided in s. 9.10. A person so appointed shall hold office until a successor is elected and qualified. Unless otherwise ordered by the common council, a successor shall be elected for the residue of the unexpired term on the first Tuesday of April next after the vacancy happens, in case it happens no later than December 1 preceding the first Tuesday in April, but if the vacancy happens after December 1 preceding the first Tuesday in April and before that day, then the successor shall be elected on the first Tuesday in April of the next ensuing year. The common council may, if a vacancy occurs before June 1 in the year preceding expiration of the term of office, order a special election to fill a vacancy to be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November following the date of the order. A person so elected shall serve for the residue of the unexpired term.
17.23(1)(b) (b) In 1st class cities, in the office of mayor, except as provided in s. 9.10, the vacancy shall be filled by the president of the common council as acting mayor until a special election can be held under this paragraph. In such case, the acting mayor may continue to serve as president of the common council, in addition to exercising the powers and responsibilities of the office of mayor, until such time as a new mayor is elected and qualified, but the acting mayor may not take part in any vote of the common council during that period. In the office of alderperson, by special election, except as provided in s. 9.10. When a mayor is temporarily appointed, the common council shall order a special election for the office of mayor under s. 8.50 as promptly as possible, unless the vacancy occurs within 120 days of the expiration of the mayor's term of office. When an aldermanic seat becomes vacant, a successor shall be elected for the residue of the unexpired term on the first Tuesday of April or the Tuesday after the first Monday in November next after the vacancy happens, in case it happens no later than December 1 or June 1 preceding that day, but if the vacancy happens after December 1 or June 1 preceding that day, then the successor shall be elected on the following first Tuesday in April or Tuesday after the first Monday in November; but no election to fill a vacancy in such office may be held at the time of holding the regular election for that office. In addition, the president of the common council of any 1st class city may order a special election to be held under s. 8.50 to fill a vacant aldermanic seat prior to the time when that seat is required to be filled under this paragraph. If a special election is held under this paragraph after a redistricting plan is adopted, the election shall be held in the aldermanic district as it existed when the office was filled at the last preceding election.
17.23(1)(bm) (bm) In the office of municipal judge, in the manner provided in s. 8.50 (4) (fm).
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)