State Senate confirms Jon Litscher as new prisons secretary

MADISON — The state Senate has confirmed Jon Litscher as Wisconsin's new prisons chief.

Gov. Scott Walker appointed Litscher as Department of Corrections secretary in February to replace Ed Wall, who resigned Feb. 5 amid an investigation into claims of abuse at the state's youth prison in Irma. Federal authorities are probing allegations of sexual assault, misconduct in office and civil rights violations at the facility.

Senate Democrats said Tuesday Litscher is a huge improvement over Wall, but there are serious issues in corrections he will need to address, including staffing shortages.

Litscher served as Corrections Secretary from 1999 to 2003 under Republican Govs. Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum.

The Senate confirmed the appointment 29-3 in a Tuesday session.