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Former Walker Corrections Chief Endorses Democrat Evers For Governor

Ed Wall Criticizes Walker Over Handling Of Youth Prison Abuses

Lincoln Hills juvenile correction facility
Glen Moberg/WPR

The former head of the state prison system who left Gov. Scott Walker’s administration under bad terms has endorsed Democrat Tony Evers in the race for governor.

Ed Wall resigned from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in February 2016 amid an investigation into the Lincoln Hill School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls youth prisons. He moved to the state Department of Justice, where he was fired two months later.

In a web ad released Thursday by the Evers campaign, Wall said Walker “completely mismanaged the issues at Lincoln Hills” and blamed the governor for not acting on his recommendations for improving the facility.

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“I thought Scott Walker would help me protect kids, but I was wrong,” Wall said in the ad.

Wall is set to release a tell-all book about the Walker administration in August.

Wall had been an administrator at the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation before Walker appointed him to run the prison system. After he returned to the DOJ, he was reassigned to another position and placed on paid leave.

Wall appealed to Walker’s Chief of Staff Rich Zipperer to intervene at the DOJ, sending Zipperer a letter to his home asking him to shred the material after reading it. Zipperer shared the letter with the DOJ, who fired Wall.

While Wall did not directly address the events in his ad for Evers, he did say that “it was strongly suggested to cabinet secretaries that we not create written records — no paper trails.”

Republicans suggested Wall’s endorsement of Evers was fitting.

“Ed Wall was fired after evading Wisconsin’s open record laws and secretly lobbying for a new job, so it’s not surprising that he’s running to the defense of a bureaucrat who chooses politics over helping those he’s charged with serving,” said Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Alec Zimmerman.

Zimmerman referenced Evers decision at the state Department of Public Instruction to not revoke the license of a teacher who shared emails on his work computer showing pornographic images.

Evers is one of nine Democrats actively running for governor after Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik suspended his campaign Thursday.

None of the Democrats have released TV ads in the race. Walker has released several. Evers’ ad featuring Wall appears only online.