Brett Blomme, a Milwaukee County Judge with ties to many prominent Democratic politicians, was arrested on “tentative charges of possession of child pornography,” the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a news release on March 16, 2021.
He served in Children’s Court.
UPDATE: Blomme was criminally charged on March 17. You can read our story detailing the charges here. They are horrific; Blomme is accused of sharing and downloading rape videos of toddlers.
The defendant, 38, a Circuit Court Judge in Milwaukee County, “was arrested by Wisconsin DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) special agents following an investigation into multiple uploads of child pornography through a Kik messaging application account in October and November 2020,” the release says.
Before he was a judge, Brett Blomme worked for a series of Democratic politicians, his website says. “Prior to joining the Public Defender’s Office, Brett worked as a Legislative Aide for State Representative Jon Richards in the State Capitol, serving constituents from the City of Milwaukee. He got his start in politics working for leaders like Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett,” it reads.
Blomme was elected to the bench in April 2020, defeating a Scott Walker appointee, Judge Paul Dedinsky. “I support Brett because, like me, he is committed to making Milwaukee a better place for all of us. He is a former public defender who has dedicated his career to fighting for justice and equity. Brett is the change we need to help fix our broken criminal justice system,” U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore wrote in an endorsement of him.
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He is also a Barrett appointee: “Brett previously served as an elected Director for the Government Lawyer’s Division of the Wisconsin Bar Association.” He also served “as chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Milwaukee, having been appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and unanimously confirmed by the Common Council,” his website says.
“Based upon records linking those uploads to the defendant, DCI investigators obtained search warrants for the defendant, his chambers, his vehicle, and his residences in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.”
This investigation “was led by the Wisconsin DOJ DCI, with assistance from investigators with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office. Special assistance was received from the following agencies in executing the search warrants: Wauwatosa PD; Cottage Grove PD; Racine County Sheriff; Brookfield PD; Waukesha County Sheriff; and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,” says the release.
Tom Barrett released a statement saying, “The allegations are alarming. Before he was elected to the bench, the judge served as chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals, an appointed board in City Government. The reports of the arrest came as a complete surprise.”
A criminal complaint is expected to be issued on March 17.
Blomme’s website bio further states: “Prior to serving as Circuit Court Judge, Brett was the President & CEO of Cream City Foundation (CCF) in Milwaukee. He has over 15 years of experience in litigation, philanthropy, community organizing and nonprofit management. Before joining CCF, Brett served as the Director of Major Gifts for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), a Milwaukee-based AIDS service organization.”
The bio continues, “Previously Brett served as an attorney with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office, where he represented low-income individuals that were charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. Brett is a proud former member of AFT Local 4822, the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Association.”
During the election, he faced questions about why he and his husband own houses in both Milwaukee and Madison; his husband works for UW-Madison.