Shortly after taking office State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen began handing out jobs to partisan cronies. For example, he made Ray Taffora his Deputy. He did this even though Taffora had no real prosecutorial experience and was little more than a politically connected corporate hack. Taffora served as counsel for Tommy Thompson and assisted former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen in redistricting and negotiating an end to the caucuses. Just last month we learned that Van Hollen not only hired his former campaign field director, put then promoted him repeatedly. Although his background outside of politics is mostly unknown, Van Hollen saw fit to promote him to his current job as a DCI analyst. J.B. has been quite kind to those that supported his political ambitions. That has not necessarily been the case for others working at DOJ even though they are well respected by their peers and have long time law enforcement credentials.
Last month as Van Hollen was again promoting his former campaign field director, he was busy chasing out one of the most respected criminal investigators in the state. Jim Warren suddenly ‘retired’ saying in emails that it was ‘shoved down his throat’ and that dealing with the Van Hollen administration was ‘constant war.’ Now the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Van Hollen has demoted a 14 year arson and homicide investigator. Apparently she wrote joking emails about J.B. Van Hollen (and/or his political crony hires) and the ever sensitive AG saw fit to cut her pay by nearly 40 percent. Rather than tap her expertise and knowledge, Van Hollen would rather make a statement and throw it all away. That is not good for DOJ and that is not good for the people of Wisconsin. In Van Hollen’s Department of Justice there really does appear to be a ‘war’. It is between the partisans and the professionals and unfortunately the partisans are currently winning.