Tumultuous first term is enough for Voiland

After indicating he may seek re-election, judge bows out, endorses latest candidate to enter race
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

After indicating he may run for re-election, Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Voiland announced last week that he will not seek a second term on the bench and endorsed the latest candidate to enter the three-person race to succeed him.

Voiland, whose first term in office has been surrounded by controversy, filed a campaign registration statement — the first step to being listed on the ballot — on Dec. 13, but in a surprising Dec. 26 statement said he is supporting attorney and Mid-Moraine Municipal Court Judge Steve Cain’s campaign.

A day later, Cain filed a campaign registration statement and announced his bid for the Branch II bench.

“I want to thank Judge Voiland for his service to our country, his service to the county the last six years and his support of my candidacy,” Cain said. 

Also running to succeed Voiland are attorneys Angela Foy and Mark Larson. All three candidates are from Cedarburg.

Voiland’s first term in office has been one of surprises, starting with his upset victory over veteran judge Tom Wolfgram in 2013 following a race in which Voiland focused on Wolfgram’s decision to sign the Gov. Scott Walker recall petition.

Once in office, Voiland prompted two investigations of the Ozaukee County Court System that together spanned more than two years by alleging other court officials were working to undermine his career and had committed criminal misconduct in office. An administrative probe that concluded last year found no evidence of criminal misconduct or efforts to subvert Voiland. 

Voiland then sued the Chief Judge of Wisconsin’s Third Judicial District Jennifer Dorow over the investigation and has threatened to sue Clerk of Courts Mary Lou Mueller and Ozaukee Press.

In a lengthy statement issued last week attributed to Voiland and his campaign committee, Voiland touted his career, took swipes at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Ozaukee Press and, noting he is a disabled Gulf War veteran, said he will be taking additional medical leave to complete treatment he has been undergoing at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.

What was shaping up to be a hotly contested race before Voiland’s decision to step down still appears headed to a Feb. 19 primary election with the addition of Cain.

A lawyer for nearly 20 years, Cain was elected Mid-Moraine Municipal Court judge in 2009. In addition, he is a partner in the Cedarburg law firm of Stippich, Selin & Cain who specializes in personal injury law, general civil and criminal litigation and represents several local governments.

According to Cain’s statement, he has been endorsed by Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Daniel Kelly and Rebecca Bradley.

  Foy, a share-holder in the Milwaukee law firm Halling & Cayo who specializes in family law, has been critical of Voiland and said she would work to repair the damage done by the “pointless investigations” prompted by Voiland.

Larson, 57, a partner in the Milwaukee law firm Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson who specializes in medical malpractice and general liability law, said his 32 years of legal experience have prepared him well to be a judge.

Foy and Larson filed nomination papers last week. Cain had not filed them as of 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28.

The filing deadline was 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, but that deadline is extended until 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, in races in which office holders not running for re-election fail to file notifications of noncandidacy by the Dec. 21 deadline.  According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Voiland did not file a notification of noncandidacy.

Assuming Cain files nomination papers and a primary election is needed, the two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the April 2 general election.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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