Kenosha County Judge Candidate Blames Racism for Jury Trial Loss: Will This Affect His Future Decisions on the Bench?

Kenosha County, Wisconsin – Kenosha County residents will soon choose a replacement for Judge Bruce E. Schroder. Governor Tony Evers appointed Frank Gagliardi, a long-time Democrat, to the position, and Gagliardi was sworn in on January 23, 2024. Court Commissioner William Michel, also a Democrat, applied for the post as well. Heather Iverson, the only conservative candidate, decided not to seek the appointment.

The three candidates participated in a forum on January 29, which was aired on February 3, 2024. During the forum, they expressed their desire to be elected to the 6-year term.

Gagliardi caught attention during the forum when he recounted a story about a jury trial in Rock County, Wisconsin. He claimed that the jury, consisting of all Caucasian members, unfairly judged his African-American client based on her appearance. Gagliardi did not mention any other possible factors for the loss.

Some voters who watched the forum found Gagliardi’s remarks disingenuous and questioned whether they signaled his approach if he were to become a judge. They wondered how a judge could address systemic racism and whether it would result in tougher sentences for white people or lighter sentences for minorities.

It is worth noting that the assertions made by Gagliardi were not corroborated, and other factors may have contributed to the trial’s outcome.

Ultimately, the residents of Kenosha County will decide who will replace Judge Bruce E. Schroder in the upcoming primary and general elections on February 20th and April 2nd, respectively. The chosen candidate will serve a 6-year term in Kenosha County Circuit Court.