Gov. Scott Walker passed over more than a dozen candidates to appoint outgoing Attorney General Brad Schimel to a Waukesha County judgeship, according to records released by the governor’s administration.
Walker handed Schimel the job on Nov. 20, a day after the Republican attorney general conceded defeat to Democrat Josh Kaul. Schimel replaces Judge Patrick Haughney, who officially resigned on Election Day after announcing earlier this year he would step down.
The governor’s office released application documents for the position to The Associated Press late Friday in response to an open records request. The materials show 13 people applied for Haughney’s job in addition to Schimel.
Walker whittled the group down to six finalists, including Schimel. The others were state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Chief Counsel Paul Dedinsky; state Department of Justice assistant attorneys general David Maas and Katherine Spitz, who worked under Schimel; state Department of Administration Gaming Division Administrator Jack Melvin; and Waukesha County Court Commissioner Sara Scullen.
Walker’s office also released application materials for five of the remaining eight candidates, including Terry Booth, a commercial litigation attorney for Waukesha law firm Rogahn Jones; Matthew Fernholz, who clerked for former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and is now an attorney with Waukesha law firm Cramer, Multhauf & Hammes; Butler attorney Sarah Ponath; Ronald Sonderhouse, a partner in Waukesha law firm Wolff & Sonderhouse; and Eric Weidig, Waukesha County’s corporation counsel.
The governor’s office didn’t release application materials for the remaining three candidates, saying they had requested confidentiality.
Maas, Melvin, Fernholz and Ponath included letters of recommendation from Schimel with their applications. The records didn’t include Schimel’s application documents. Walker’s assistant legal counsel, Nick Korger, didn’t reply to an email Monday inquiring about why Schimel’s materials were not included.