Co. Board votes to remove Kimberly Walker as Corporation Counsel

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Board voted Thursday, June 20th to fire its Corporation Counsel — after Board members say the attorney just isn’t working out. The County Board agreed to removed Kimberly Walker in a 13-5 vote, without discussion.

The Board needed 12 votes to remove Walker from her position.

The Corporation Counsel provides legal opinions to both the County Executive and the County Board.

County Executive Abele says he has seen nothing that would justify Walker’s firing. He had strong words after the vote on Thursday.

"I think this is a really, really unfortunate, unfortunate day," Abele said Thursday. “I can’t tell you why they made their decision, but I can tell you what it wasn’t — it wasn’t about who’s the best servant and Corporation Counsel for Milwaukee County."

Supervisor Theo Lipscomb declined to give any specifics as to why Board members want to remove Walker, saying it’s a personnel issue.

“Over the two years of her service, there’s been a developing sense people were unsatisfied with her representation and it just finally came to a head,” Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb maintains the decision to fire Walker has nothing to do with Abele.

“That’s an outrageous accusation and unfounded. There’s no basis for that. They may wish that’s the case that we would act on that basis but I have no reason to go after the County Executive by removing the Corporation Counsel. Everything is not about Chris Abele, and we are able to have a difference of opinion on this issue or any other issue,” Lipscomb said.

The County Board’s relationship with the County Executive has gotten worse since Abele publicly supported Act 14 — a state-sponsored measure to force elections every two years, and cut supervisors pay from $50,000 to $24,000 a year.

Walker believes she is now a victim of political payback.

"It feels to me this is a continuation of the power struggle that has existed between the Office of the County Executive, as well as the County Board," Walker said.

Abele says he will fight this vote, and stand by Walker, whom he appointed two years ago.

"We got the best Corporation Counsel we could`ve hoped for, and today we are sending the wrong message," Abele said.