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Trempealeau County DA faces recall

A recall effort is underway to remove the Trempealeau County District Attorney from office.

Paperwork filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission from a committee called Recall Taavi McMahon on May 22.

The two people listed on the paperwork are recall petitioner Daniel McQuillan and Treasurer William Prudlick. 

Prudlick is the Chief of the Osseo Police Department, while McQuillan is a patrol officer for Osseo.

As part of the paperwork, in the statement of intent, McQuillan wrote, in part, that McMahon "demonstrated inability to effectively prosecute cases, repeatedly having cases thrown out of court due to lack of preparedness, and prosecutorial misconduct found by Judge Anna Becker." Read the complete form below.

McMahon has been under scrutiny since last year when he suspended an employee for refusing an order to attend a funeral for Jackson County District Attorney Gerald Fox. 

In October, Trempealeau County board members sent a letter to Governor Scott Walker asking the state to investigate McMahon for his actions. The state declined to take action in the matter. 

READ: Governor Walker’s office will not suspend Taavi McMahon

In December, following a series of meetings with the county and McMahon, Trempealeau County Board Chairman Dick Miller sent a letter to the district attorney asking that he step down from office.

READ: Trempealeau County CA ‘declines’ to resign post

McMahon refused to do so, saying that "…the people of Trempealeau County elected me to represent them in all criminal proceedings and that is exactly what I will continue to do with the assistance of my dedicated staff."

MORE: Taavi McMahon calls accusations ‘insulting and ridiculous’

As of Thursday afternoon, the Trempealeau County District Attorney’s office said that McMahon is on leave, possibly as long as a ‘couple of months’.

The recall group has 60 days from the date their paperwork was received by the state to collect signatures on recall petitions. 

Reid Magney, spokesperson with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, said the group would need more than 2,600 signatures to force the recall. The number is based on 25 percent of the number of votes cast in the governor’s race in 2014. 

Once the signatures are gathered, the state has 30 days to review the petitions to make sure there are enough signatures. 

Magney said that the incumbent then has the responsibility to challenge any of the signatures.

If the elections commission rules there are enough valid signatures, they would schedule a recall election for a Tuesday six weeks from their ruling date. McMahon would automatically be on the ballot. 

If more than one person files nomination papers to challenge McMahon, a primary election would happen six weeks from the commission’s ruling date. The winner of the primary would then face McMahon in the recall election four weeks later. 


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