We already know that the J.B. Van Hollen administration at the Wisconsin Department of Justice has been engaged in a war of partisans vs. law enforcement professionals. First he chased out the universally respected head of the Division of Criminal Investigation, Jim Warren. Next Van Hollen and his partisan hires began targeting other nationally recognized crime fighters, including Carolyn Kelly, the first women in the nation to serve as a state fire marshal. We are learning more about the dysfunction of the J.B. Van Hollen administration after the release of a 300-page file and new comments from Kelly.
Van Hollen released the file responding to a request from the Wisconsin State Journal. Van Hollen said that he felt threatened by Kelly emails even though several of her colleagues said that she wasn’t seriously threatening him. This view was shared by her former supervisor, Jim Warren, the head of DCI. Why would Van Hollen feel so threatened from a well regarded law enforcement official when everyone close to her knew that her emails were not serious? Is J.B. super sensitive or could he be just a little paranoid? Remember, this is the same guy that was afraid to go to the GOP National Convention without body guards and once declared that terrorists were running around in Wisconsin.
Van Hollen also seemed overly offended about an allegation that Kelly used profanity in describing his administration. Kelly has disputed this allegation saying that Van Hollen only relied on the statement of a single person (who apparently had a longtime problem with her) even though others that were present did not corroborate it. Even if she had used profanity in describing the administration, does that really warrant such an extreme reaction? What, does Van Hollen really think that he is the first boss to be the subject of complaint and criticism?
It appears that much of the frustration in DCI peaked over disagreements on Van Hollen’s handling of the shootings in Crandon. It appears that the Van Hollen administration is not only allergic to constructive criticism but also to opposing views (even if they are based on some 25 years of experience). Who would have thought that someone who ran as a tough as nails prosecutor and a crime fighting super hero would actually be so super sensitive?