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Commissioner William Michel II Declares Candidacy For Kenosha Judge

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Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge William Michel II
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

KENOSHA, WI | Longtime Kenosha lawyer and Kenosha Circuit Court Commissioner William Michel has announced his candidacy for the office of Circuit Court Judge. This announcement follows the retirement of longtime Circuit Court Judge Bruce E.Schroeder.

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“Judge Schroeder is an incredible role model, the ultimate professional, and a fair minded jurist who has served our community for more than four decades. He has served with dignity and has kept our community safe, ensured justice, and elevated professionalism on the Bench. These are qualities that I will bring to the office as Circuit Court Judge. These are things everyday that I bring as your Court Commissioner. I look forward to highlighting my extensive and diverse experience, love of community, and values that matter throughout this campaign.” wrote Michel in a statement.

With Judge Schroeder’s announcement, an election will be held in April 2024. With over twenty six years of trial and bench service, Commissioner Michel looks forward to sharing his platform, experience, and hearing from you! 

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Voters can learn more about Commissioner Michel at his website, www.votemichel.com.

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  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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51 Responses

  1. Sorry, good family guy but not terribly balanced or experienced. He is new on the job as court commissioner and struggling with that.

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    1. He’s been a commissioner for < 5 months and it's a train wreck. Ask the attorneys and interpreters… his staff and deputies… Ask the judges! Iverson is telling everyone and even though shes a real piece of work herslef, shes not wrong. He's the nicest guy but he is in over his head.

      Frank is the best candidate. Bill should run when Tony retires assuming he gets back on track- pun intended.

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      1. Interesting all these random, anonymous smear campaign comments against opponents in favor of another candidate. Oh Politics, may the best liar “win”.

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      2. He was a train wreck 17 Years ago. I bet he thought he’d get my vote when I told him he was on private property.

  2. Bill leads with kindness and has some great qualities, but could benefit from professional refinement. Having presided over the busiest courtroom in the county for five months now, the rush to the judge’s bench may serve as a distraction as he continues to ease into his role as Court Commissioner, thus making it more difficult for him to find his footing. He has substantial knowledge and makes conscientious assessments of the information presented to him, and hopefully he may soon add ‘consistency’ to that list. Nevertheless, I wish him the very best and will be cheering him on as he takes this step in his career!

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    1. Some good points raised here. The court commissioners do limited, but important, work. Bill Michel hasn’t even been on the bench for six months. Heather Iverson has two years’ experience. Both are growing in their jobs. Bill is struggling to balance it all and there are some concerns. He certainly has political ambitions, having served a stint on the county board and making an unsuccessful run for DA at a time in his legal career when he was essentially a newbie lawyer. There were hopes that the commissioner’s job would be the right niche for him. The retiring commissioner, Larry Keating, took Bill under his wing and he also received some guidance from one of the part-time commissioners with ten years’ experience. The jury is still out on Bill’s performance as commissioner. Obviously if he’s struggling in this role then he may have even more issues as a circuit judge. As others have noted, Bill is a good family man but that alone doesn’t make a person a good judge.

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  3. All of these comments citing lack of experience or struggles by Bill Michel are comical and just political jockeying by his opponents. The Governor’s appointment tapped the least experience attorney of the declared candidates and the one whose family made the largest political donations through the years.

    Bill Michels strength is his varied legal experience as an assistant district attorney, appointed guardian ad litem, public defender, fair and balanced County Board Supervisor and now Court Commissioner.

    Bill is a life long resident from an Italian working class family in Kenosha. Bill and Kate have passed on and instilled the values of hard work, respect, love and community to their three boys. A great family!

    Personally, I’ve known Bill for many years. He’s an independent, no nonsense law and order guy. He will always do the right thing and represent traditional values. Don’t be fooled by those attacking Bill’s strength for political gain as they try to measure up to the most qualified candidate for Circuit Court Judge.

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    1. Sorry, Mr. or Ms. Cheerleader. Those of us who have offered comments are close to the situation and have observed the traits that are relevant to being a judge. Years of experience may be one but quality of experience, temperament and other factors play into the analysis. We like Bill, too. But that doesn’t make him qualified to be a circuit court judge, especially when he’s struggling to handle the commissioner’s job. I’m not attacking Bill, period. He currently has an important job and should master it first.

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      1. I would love to know if these people lean left or right. That is very important question I think these days.

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    2. What’s the Italian part matter? He’s falling apart in court, and storming off and causing stres and chaos. Facts not opinions.

      He couldn’t handle the caseload so they dumped juvenile on heather and dumped heather’s divorces on liZ. It’s a mess and all the judges are too blame. Both commissioners should focus on their work and recognize they are barely cutting it on that level. True disaster if they get elected. Mark my words.

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      1. I feel bad for Bill. I had hopes he’d do a good job as commissioner. It sounded like a good job for him but obviously there have been some unanticipated issues.

        Though the job isn’t always easy Larry Keating was able to do it. The part-time commissioners (like Evans, Parise, Ginkowski and Mayew) are able to do it without moving the calendar to another commissioner or judge. Not sure why Bill is having difficulty. Can he reach out for help??? With his experience as a lawyer on both sides and a guardian ad litem he should be able to manage this.

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        1. He reached out for help because he couldnt keep up.
          Rossel reassigned his juvenile cases to heather. Rossel took all Heather’s family cases and dumped on liz. why she hasn’t quit is beyond me.. ask Jason and maybe he will be honest that he has helped heather since she started. Why ??? – we all want to know…

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        2. This is the 3rd time they have let heather dump cases since she got hired. 3rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. She. Isn’t Doing. The. Work. 3x. It’s not just Bill who can’t handle his cases ~ heather hasn’t been able to handle hers – Yes!! Ask liz, maybe she will b honest about what’s been happening…I hear she is planning her “escape” so maybe she’ll tell the truth on the way out the door…

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  4. I love how there are 2 commishs running for judge who haven’t even been able to do their current jobs they were originally hired to do first. The ego and lack of self-awareness when it comes to their actual competency is mind-blowing. And BTW, who cares if he’s from a working class Italian-American family? Come on, Kenosha, stop playing that card.

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  5. I think, like usual, none of these candidates are really qualified or that good and we will be stuck picking the best of the worst.

    If he is having such issues as commissioner, why in the hell would you ever want him actually deciding cases or handing down sentences?

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  6. Also, NONE of the current judges were full – time commissioners and only a few were supplemental. It’s not the end-all, be-all experience they want you to think it is.

    I also agree, keep ethnicity, race and gender out of this. Either they are qualified or not.

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    1. Judge Schroeder, a Democrat who previously served as District Attorney and unsuccessful candidate for the state senate, was a supplemental court commissioner when he was appointed to the bench by Gov. Tony Earl, a Democrat.

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    2. Judge Dougvillo was a full-time circuit court commissioner for Walworth County. I don’t remember if Judge Milisauskas was a commissioner when he was elected but he was the Somers Municipal Judge.

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      1. Dougie doesn’t count. “Full-time” Walworth = part -time kenosha. I said what I said!

        J/k. But 1 out of 8 isn’t much different. Point being, commiss. is nice experience that all 3 candidates have. For the 2 full timers. It has revealed their shortcomings. Vote at your own risk.

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      2. Too proud to acknowledge he was not meant for the job. Union representative Daddy taught him to be nothing but the best.

  7. This comment is totally Ginkowski. “he also received some guidance from one of the part-time commissioners with ten years’ experience…” he is referring to himself here. Gink is such a narcissist he can’t help but comment.

    Gink only supports candidates who supported him when he ran for part time muni judge…explains why he’s anti-Bill.

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    1. According to public records Michel was not a candidate until today, one month after Gagliardi filed with the state. People already lined up behind others. Thankfully.

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        1. Endorsements. Ginkowski keeps track of who endorsed him, brenda or Berman. Doesn’t matter where they lived as long as they endorsed him, he supports them no matter what. Tit for tat politics.

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      1. He’s been telling everyone he’s running since the day Bruce announced his retirement. He’s been lining up endorsements from his cronies. Bill is part of the old boys club- that’s why he’s getting away with stuff at work..

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  8. When he was appointed to represent my son at 18 for some stupid decisions he all but sent the kid a death sentence. Did the bare minimum and then collected his public defender dues like a good bar association lawyer always does. Hard to find any relevant legal battle, Bill, has won ever. I guess plea-bargain Billy is hoping his “public” service as a private attorney will win hearts and minds. Not mine!

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  9. At least his website follows the law – Authorized and Paid for by William Michel for Judge Inc – iversons still doesn’t. Someone should report her. A judge who doesn’t follow the basic laws in campaigning… smh

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    1. While that law remains on the books in Wisconsin it is largely unenforceable because of a United States Supreme Court decision.

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        1. The problem there is that the law is likely unconstitutional.

          The United States Supreme Court struck down a similar Ohio law. In the footnotes of the opinion the Wisconsin law is mentioned. So it’s a fairly safe bet the Wisconsin law is likewise invalid. Having said that, it is recommended that candidates follow the practice.

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  10. Are you citing McIntyre? Dark money politics is dangerous and I don’t know that that requiring the actual candidate to disclose expenditures is the same as requiring supporters to disclose. Is there a different case?

    Her press release is misleading, website misrepresentations, and her Facebooks pages are already over the top. Just one more thingnshe tries to gets away with

    Bill and Frank are good people who deserve a fair campaign so the best candidate can win. Not the most conniving or biggest fact spinner. We’ve had enough of that locally,state, and nationwide.

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  11. This loser represented me through the public defender’s office. I had to fire him because he was useless. I ended up retaining a private attorney. This guy lacks motivation and personality. He could be a longtime Kenosha lawyer but it doesn’t mean he ever won a single trial. He is a loser.

    1. So many of the comments here attack others and talk about trivial issues. The one that matters is that there are three people (so far) announced as candidates for judge and which of them is best qualified, not who is (or is not) popular. Some people are rock stars, others background musicians at best. Some of the criticism of Bill is because he is a likable guy from a good family but can he ever hold a candle to Judge Schroeder? Maybe that’s unfair because it’s doubtful there will ever be another Schroeder. But if you have a pick of three doctors to do your surgery you want to go with the best. I’d like to see him master the job he has now.

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      1. People are stating performance facts about the candidates. Most of the comments are not about who is popular – they are about who can handle difficult roles in the justice system.

        I didn’t see anyone say Bill can’t be the next Schroeder…in case you missed the news release, Heather is following in his footsteps, just ask her.

        Also, referring to people as rock stars is stupid analogy…one judge says it all the time and it makes her sound like a 1980 valley girl.

  12. Is the KCE sponsoring Billy’s candidacy?
    How come he is using a picture taken by Mathewson KCE on his website without giving them proper credit?

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