Judge Timothy Vocke of Rhinelander was named this week as the chairman of Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board for 2013.
Under state law, the board’s leadership is chosen by lot at its first meeting in January each year.
Judge Gerald Nichol of Madison was chosen as vice chairman for 2013, and Judge Micheal Brennan of Marshfield was chosen as secretary of the board.
The G.A.B. is comprised of six non-partisan, former Wisconsin judges who are appointed by the governor based on nominations from a committee of Court of Appeals judges.
Vocke replaces Judge David G. Deininger as chairperson.
“This non-partisan citizens board is unique from other committees or boards because it is made up entirely of former judges,” Vocke said.
The board was created five years ago. Vocke said the board regulates:
• Elections, including recalls;
• Lobbying; and
• Public officials’ ethics.
“We also investigate complaints, give advice and oversee state elections,” Vocke said.
Vocke served the state as an assistant district attorney for Racine County from 1973-76 before being appointed Vilas County District Attorney in 1976 by Gov. Patrick J. Lucey. He later ran for election to that office as a Democrat.
He was elected as a nonpartisan Vilas County Circuit Court Judge in 1979 and served until 1983, when he resigned to go into private practice as a trial attorney. Since then he has served as a reserve judge and a medical malpractice mediator and referee for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Vocke retired from the practice of Law in 2009.
Vocke was nominated by the Government Accountability Candidate Committee and appointed by Gov. Scott Walker in May 2011 to a term expiring May 1, 2017, and served on the board from June through December 2011, when he resigned to run for Oneida County Circuit Court Judge.
In March 2012, Judge Vocke was re-nominated by the Government Accountability Candidate Committee and Gov. Walker reappointed him to the vacant seat, effective April 2, 2012. His appointment to the board has not yet been confirmed by the State Senate. Also Monday, board members voted to forego their regular $445.15 per diem payment for the January meeting.
The board has scheduled six additional regular meetings in 2013. Its next regular meeting will be a two-day session Wednesday and Thursday, March 20 and 21. Additional meetings have been scheduled for May 21, Aug. 20, Oct. 22, and Dec. 17.
Joe VanDeLaarschot may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.