Where is Josh Kaul’s 2022 crime lab report?
Last year’s Josh Kaul crime lab report has gone missing. By his own standards, it’s late.
For the last two years, in 2022 and 2021, Kaul, Wisconsin’s attorney general, has released the annual state crime lab report in April. In 2020, he released the 2019 report in May. As of June 25, 2023, Kaul’s 2022 crime lab report was still nowhere to be found.
In early June, Kaul stated the 2022 crime lab report would not be available for “a few months.” But why? Was it because he was making a big budget push for more crime lab positions? Perhaps the 2022 crime lab statistics would have been helpful to legislators in determining that. Instead, news stories on his push for more positions focused on 2021 numbers – in June 2023. At the same time, the media allowed Kaul to claim, without providing any evidence, that “trendlines” at the crime lab “appeared to show progress.”
Prove it. We wrote Kaul’s office to ask the reason for the delay. We also asked for the 2022 crime lab report, via an open records request. Don’t hold your breath. They never respond. In fact, Kaul, the state’s top enforcer of open records laws (supposedly), has been sitting on one of our open records requests for more than a year, and the DOJ never ruled on a two-year-old open records complaint we filed against DA John Chisholm.
Of course, the news out of the state crime lab hasn’t been good for Kaul in the last two years, even though he got seven new positions in 2019-2021. “Attorney General Josh Kaul’s crime lab is taking in far fewer cases than his predecessor Brad Schimel even as violent crime skyrockets throughout the state, yet is taking longer to process them in key areas like DNA analysis and controlled substances, Kaul’s own numbers show,” we wrote of the 2021 report.
In 2021, we wrote of the 2020 report, “At a time of soaring crime rates, Kaul’s crime lab is taking in far fewer cases (a trend that started BEFORE COVID-19), but it’s also taking longer to get police and prosecutors key evidence they need to get criminals off the streets, a review of his own data shows.”
Kaul has been complaining about crime lab funding in television appearances even as he holds the numbers close to his vest.
2021: Released on April 14, 2022
Kaul released the 2021 crime lab report on April 14, 2022, according to his own press release.
2020: Released on April 15, 2021
Kaul released the 2020 crime lab report on April 15, 2021, according to a DOJ news release.
2019: Released on May 20, 2020
Kaul released the 2019 crime lab report on May 20, 2022, a news release states.
2018: Released on May 29, 2019
The DOJ’s 2018 crime lab report was released on May 29, 2019, according to a DOJ news release.
Kaul has served as Wisconsin’s AG since January 2019.
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