When officers may hold office.
Temporary vacancies; elections.
In this chapter, unless qualified, “
cause" means inefficiency, neglect of duty, official misconduct, or malfeasance in office.
History: 2001 a. 103
Resignations to whom made; when effective.
Resignations of public officers shall be made as follows:
By the governor, lieutenant governor or any officer appointed by the legislature, to the legislature, if in session; otherwise by the governor or lieutenant governor, to the secretary of state, and by an officer appointed by the legislature, to the governor.
By the secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, state superintendent, by a district attorney and by all officers appointed by the governor alone or by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to the governor.
By senators and members of the assembly, to the presiding officers of their respective houses, who shall immediately transmit the same to the governor, and to the governor during the recess of the legislature.
By the justices of the supreme court, court of appeals judges and circuit judges, to the governor.
By a sheriff, to the county clerk, who shall immediately transmit notice thereof to the governor.
By a clerk of the circuit court, to the circuit judge.
By a county supervisor, county clerk, county treasurer, coroner, register of deeds or county surveyor, to the sheriff, who shall immediately transmit a notice thereof, in case of a coroner or register of deeds, to the governor; and in case of a county supervisor, county clerk, county treasurer or surveyor, to the chairperson of the county board; and after such notices the sheriff shall file such resignations with the county clerk.
By the mayor or alderperson or council member of a city, however organized, to the council; by other elective officers thereof, to the mayor; and by other city officers, to the officer or body having power to appoint in their stead.
By a town officer, to the town board.
By officers of a village, however organized, to the village board.
By a school district officer, to the district board.
By all other officers, to the officer or body having power to appoint in their stead.
Resignations shall be made in writing, shall be addressed and delivered to the officer or body prescribed in this section and shall take effect, in the case of an officer who is not a school district officer and whose term of office continues by law until a successor is chosen and qualifies, upon the qualification of the successor; and in the case of other officers including school district officers, at the time indicated in the written resignation, or if no time is therein indicated, then upon delivery of the written resignation. If the governor or the state superintendent of public instruction makes a provisional appointment under s. 17.20 (2)
and the appointee files the required oath of office, the appointee qualifies for office, unless the appointment is withdrawn or rejected. Delivery of a resignation shall be made by leaving a copy thereof with the officer to whom it is required to be addressed and delivered at his or her public office or usual place of business, or if required to be addressed and delivered to a body, by leaving a copy with the following officer at his or her public office or usual place of business:
If required to be addressed and delivered to the legislature, with the presiding officer of each house, or if required to be addressed and delivered to but one house, to the presiding officer of that house.
If required to be addressed and delivered to the county board, city council or to the village, town or school board, to the clerk thereof, except the resignation of the county, city, village, town or school district clerk which shall be delivered to the chairperson of the county board, mayor, village president, town chairperson, or president, as the case may be.
If required to be addressed and delivered to any other body, to the secretary or clerk thereof, if any, and if none, to any member of such body.
Conditional resignations are permissible under this section. In sub. (13), “time" refers to the “point when something occurs." Ortin v. Schuett, 157 Wis. 2d 415
, 459 N.W.2d 596
(Ct. App. 1990).
Municipal judge: multiple resignations.
If a municipal judge is elected under s. 755.01 (4)
, the judge shall submit resignations to each applicable officer or board under s. 17.01
History: 1985 a. 89
Notice of resignations.
Notice of resignations, in addition to those provided for in s. 17.01
, shall be given forthwith as follows:
(1) Senators and members of congress.
Of the resignation of a United States senator or member of congress from this state, by the senator or member of congress to the secretary of state.
(3) Municipal judges.
Of the resignation of municipal judges in any city or village, however organized, or in any town, by the city, village or town clerk, as the case may be, to the clerk of the circuit court for the county.
History: 1977 c. 305
; 1991 a. 316
Temporary vacancies. 17.025(1)(1)
Whenever the duly qualified incumbent of an office enumerated in sub. (4)
is found to be unable to perform all of the functions of the office by incapacitation caused by illness or injury of any nature, a temporary vacancy exists.
Whenever the incumbent of an office enumerated in sub. (4)
, or the incumbent's duly appointed guardian, files a written petition for a hearing to determine the incumbent's incapacitation with any member of the board requesting a hearing, the disability board shall be convened within 5 days from the date of filing said petition.
Whenever a written petition duly signed by any 4 members of the disability board is filed with the board requesting a hearing to determine the incapacitation of the incumbent of an office enumerated in sub. (4)
, the board shall be convened within 5 days from the date of filing said petition. The petition shall be signed by at least one member of each of the political parties represented on the board.
Whenever the disability board has been convened it shall conduct a hearing to determine whether a temporary vacancy exists.
In the conduct of the hearing any member of the board shall have the right to administer oaths, to summon and compel attendance of witnesses, and to sign and issue a subpoena. The board shall keep a record of its proceedings and a phonographic transcript shall be taken, made a part of the files and transcribed only by order of the board. The files and records of the board in proceedings under this section shall be kept in locked files and shall not be open to inspection except upon specific permission of the board. In any action or special proceeding in a court of record, such files and records shall be made available by special order of such court.
A quorum shall consist of 6 members. Findings shall be effective only by a secret affirmative vote of 6 members of the disability board. Said findings shall be final without right of appeal, except that after a finding of disability or inability to act, the affected incumbent may appeal such finding pursuant to ch. 227
. The appeal shall be limited to the board record. The finding of disability or inability to act shall remain in effect during the pendency of such appeal.
After a hearing by the disability board and a finding of disability or inability to act has been filed, a written certificate of temporary incapacity signed and authorized by the board members shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state not later than the next succeeding legal workday and when so filed shall create a temporary vacancy in such affected elected office. In the event of a finding of no disability by failure to secure 6 affirmative votes in support of the petition, the board shall dismiss the petition.
The disability board shall conduct rehearings in accordance with pars. (b)
. A rehearing before the disability board to reconsider an existing finding of temporary incapacitation shall be held when petitioned as provided in sub. (2)
, but no such rehearing shall be held unless 3 months have elapsed from the date of the conclusion of the original hearing or the most recent rehearing. When the existing finding of disability or inability to act was made pursuant to a voluntary petition under sub. (2) (a)
and more than 3 months have elapsed since such finding, such affected incumbent may file a declaration of fitness. Upon the filing of such declaration the board may reconvene on call of any member and conduct a rehearing to determine such incumbent's ability to serve. Failure to reconvene the board within 15 days from the date of filing of such declaration shall result in voiding the finding of disability or inability to act, and restore the incumbent to office.
Removal of disability.
After a board rehearing and a finding of a removal of the disability and, therefore, an ability to act, a written certificate of such finding shall be signed and authorized by the board members and shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state not later than the next succeeding legal workday and when so filed shall rescind the previously filed certificate of temporary incapacity. At such time the regularly elected incumbent shall resume the office.
(4) Affected offices and how filled during disability.
Whenever the board has made a finding that a temporary vacancy exists in the following offices, such office shall be filled for the period of such temporary vacancy or the balance of the unexpired term, whichever is the shorter period, as follows:
When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of governor, the duties of the governor shall automatically be assumed by the lieutenant governor as required by article V, section 7
, of the constitution.
When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of lieutenant governor during the continuance of a vacancy in the office of governor, the duties of the office of governor shall be assumed by the secretary of state as required by article V, section 8
, of the constitution.
Secretary of state; state treasurer.
When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of secretary of state or in the office of state treasurer, the duties of the office shall be assumed, respectively, by the first emergency interim successor designated under s. 323.53 (2)
or, if no such designation has been made for the respective office, then by a deputy appointed by the governor.
Attorney general; state superintendent.
When the temporary vacancy exists in the office of attorney general or in the office of state superintendent of public instruction, the duties of the office shall be assumed, respectively, by the deputy under s. 15.04 (2)
or, if such office is vacant, by a deputy appointed by the governor.
Vacancies, how caused.
Except as otherwise provided, a public office is vacant when:
The incumbent ceases to be a resident of:
If the office is legislative, the district from which elected; or
If the office is a district attorney, the prosecutorial unit from which elected; or
If the office is local and appointive, and residency, subject to s. 66.0502
, is a local requirement, the county, city, village, town, district, or area within which the duties of the office are required to be discharged.
In the case of a school district office, the incumbent is absent from the district for a period exceeding 60 days.
Whether or not sentenced to imprisonment, the incumbent is convicted and sentenced by a state or federal court for treason, felony or other crime of whatsoever nature punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison for one year or more, or for any offense involving a violation of the incumbent's official oath. A vacancy so created is not affected by a stay of execution of judgment. Reversal of the judgment, but not a pardon, immediately restores the incumbent to office if the term has not expired and entitles the incumbent to the emoluments of the office for the time the incumbent would have served in the office but for the judgment.
A competent tribunal voids the election or appointment; or adjudges the incumbent to be incapable of understanding the objective of the elective process; or places the incumbent under guardianship, unless the court finds that the incumbent is competent to exercise the right to vote.
A person elected or appointed or reelected or reappointed to any office neglects or refuses to take and file the official oath or to execute or renew the official bond if required, or to file the oath or bond as prescribed by law.
The incumbent neglects or refuses to execute and file an additional bond, when lawfully required, as prescribed by law.
A person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy or for a full term declines the office in writing or dies before qualifying or declines in writing or dies before the time when, by law, the person should enter upon the duties of the office to which elected or appointed.
If the office is elective, the incumbent's term expires, except for the office of sheriff, coroner, register of deeds or district attorney.
If the office is a school board seat, the first annual school meeting of a school district fails to elect school board members for the district.
The offices are established upon the creation by the legislature of a new county and a new town.
Any other event occurs which is declared by any special provision of law to create a vacancy.
See s. 59.20 (1)
for county supervisor residency requirement.
See s. 196.675
for vacancies in office if district attorney, city attorney, assistant city attorney, or judicial officer is employed by a common carrier.
City officers are subject to s. 17.03 vacancy provisions. Wellnitz v. Wauwatosa Police & Fire Commissioners, 151 Wis. 2d 306
, 444 N.W.2d 412
(Ct. App. 1989).
The felony conviction and sentencing of a state senator creates a vacancy in the office without any action by the senate. 65 Atty. Gen. 264.
No vacancy occurs under sub. (4) when a supervisor's residence remains the same but the district boundaries have changed. 76 Atty. Gen. 10
Vacancies; military leaves. 17.035(1)(1)
If an elected or appointed official or employee of any city, village, town or school district however organized shall enter the armed forces of the United States and shall remove himself or herself temporarily from the municipality or district for which that person is an officer or employee such temporary removal shall constitute a temporary vacancy in such office or position.
Temporary vacancies shall be filled as other vacancies are filled, except that no election need be held to fill any part of a temporary vacancy. The term of the person appointed temporarily shall not extend beyond the expiration of the term of the officer or employee who entered federal service. In the event the original officer or employee completes the federal service and returns to the district or municipality during his or her original term of office, the officer or employee may file with the clerk of the district or municipality, within 40 days of completing the federal service, a statement under oath that the federal service has terminated and that the officer or employee elects to resume the office or position. Upon the filing of the statement the term of the temporary officer or employee shall cease, and the returning officer or employee shall be entitled to resume the duties of the office.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1993 a. 246
Governor may declare vacancies.
The governor may declare vacant the office of any state officer required by law to execute an official bond whenever a judgment is obtained against such officer for a breach of the conditions of such bond.
Removal of state officers; impeachment; address. 17.06(1)(1)
Any civil officer of this state may be removed from office by impeachment for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors as provided in article VII, section 1
, of the constitution; and any supreme court justice or circuit court judge may also be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature as provided in article VII, section 13
, of the constitution.
In this section, “address" means a procedure for removal of a judge from office based on a document entitled “Address" which specifies charges against a judge alleging misconduct or that the judge is not physically or mentally qualified to exercise the judicial functions of the judge's office. A copy of the address containing the charges against the judge shall be served upon the judge. The judge shall have the opportunity of being heard to present a defense against the charges. The judge may be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature if two-thirds of all members elected to each house concur therein.
A district attorney may be removed by the governor, for cause.
Removals; legislative and appointive state officers.
Removals from office of legislative and appointive state officers may be made as follows:
Officers elected by either house of the legislature, by the house that elected them, at pleasure.
State officers appointed by the legislature, by that body, at pleasure; or by the governor during the recess of the legislature, for cause.
State officers serving in an office that is filled by appointment of the governor for a fixed term by and with the advice and consent of the senate, or serving in an office that is filled by appointment of any other officer or body for a fixed term subject to the concurrence of the governor, by the governor at any time, for cause.