Tom Barrett Names Public Defender Head of Fire & Police Commission

leon todd

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has chosen a public defender – Leon Todd – to run the city’s Fire and Police Commission. Barrett praised Todd’s “remarkable qualifications.”

What are those remarkable qualifications? Leon Todd has worked as a public defender since 2014.

In a press release dated on Nov. 24, Barrett revealed he had named Todd as the commission’s Executive Director.

Leon Todd is “currently a member of the Board of the Directors for the Wisconsin Justice Initiative and Legal Action of Wisconsin, as well as a member of the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers,” says the release.

What is the Wisconsin Justice Initiative? Its website says its mission “is to advocate for progressive change in the Wisconsin justice system.” Among its priorities? Ensuring that municipal judges consider poverty when determining sentences, legalizing marijuana, and the state’s eliminating felony bail jumping charge. Among other things, the group “Played a key role in organizing 18 cannabis legalization advisory referendums in Wisconsin.”

“The role of the Fire and Police Commission (FPC) Executive Director is to provide leadership, guidance, and coordination in public safety matters as a member of the Mayor’s cabinet and as chief administrator of the functions performed by the citizen Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. The FPC Executive Director is responsible for all policy, financial, operational and strategic matters of the Fire and Police Commission,” Barrett’s news release says.

“Leon Todd is an ideal candidate to lead the Fire and Police Commission because of his remarkable qualifications and his track record of dedicated service to all,” said Barrett. “I believe that he will bring the leadership necessary to oversee the Commission in an equitable and just manner.”

Todd has been assigned to the public defender’s office’s appellate division. In particular, he “has argued numerous cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, represented clients who are incarcerated throughout the state.”

Before that he was a staff attorney for Legal Action of Wisconsin.

He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin.

The Common Council must confirm the appointment.

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