Friday, April 11, 2014
Racine D.A. Won't Resign, Won't be Fired & Won't Be Recalled: Here's Why
Ugh. The cringe inducing video of Racine District Attorney, Rich Chiapete, struggling through a sobriety test - clearly inebriated and the revelation of a new citation of obstructing an officer. It's ugly, embarrassing and not sitting well with everyone we've talked to.
While no one seems to think Chiapete should be locked up, after-all this is a first offense, the consensus says it's a deal breaker for the credibility of the chief prosecutor in Racine County.
We're not talking about the vile haters in the comments section - we're talking about reasonable folks who think running away, hiding in the house, lying to police officers and refusing a breathalyzer is just too "criminalish" for a D.A. to survive in his job as a public servant.
The Siren would have to agree with them.
Chiapete says he isn't going to resign. Very few do these days - no matter what they do. It's not like he texted a picture of his erect penis in his undies to some fan girl - that get's you the offer of a pink slip - but only if you're a Democrat.
However, if you're a Republican - especially in Wisconsin, you can practically try and rape a staffer, get away with it for years and get PROMOTED in the mean time.
Why would Chiapete even consider giving up his day job on the public dime?
In order for Chiapete to be fired, the State Attorney would have to act - and that would require he actually care. J.B. Van Hollen isn't running for reelection, he doesn't give a flip - he wouldn't even cooperate with the first "John Doe" investigation that indicted six people and it was his fucking job.
Scott Walker isn't going to fire Chiapete - he's not even going to say Chiapete's name. With a virtual media blackout outside S.E. Wisconsin - no one even knows this is a guy Walker first appointed to office.
Next, the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association isn't going to do anything. Chiapete's crime spree was a municipal offense - not a misdemeanor and far from a felony. No matter how bad it looks for him, the crimes are basically small-time and not really actionable as a matter of law.
So, if the chain-of-command that can actually force Chiapete out isn't going to act - what are the remaining options?
A recall? Well, that would take something like 20,000 signatures to trigger. We aren't sure about the exact number because whatever it is, it is frankly too high to even be bothered looking it up. Who's going to fund that effort? Even the people who think they have the moral ground on demanding a recall - aren't going to get enough people during an election summer to succeed. Forget about it.
Chiapete has two years left on his term - he's up for reelection in 2016 - a Presidential election year. That, my friends, is where the man is toast.
Unless Chiapete manages to save an entire family, the dog and a litter of kittens from a burning house and extinguishes the blaze with his own body sweat - he's a goner 2016.
Chiapete may get primaried by someone in his own party. You can count on the Dems to use their time wisely recruiting someone to run.
The best thing Chiapete can do for himself and the community is to say, "Hey, I'm gonna use the next two years trying to be a good D.A. and then I'm going back to the private sector." That would be classy and people might be able to live with it.
Chiapete doesn't have a great track record of making good choices - so that's probably not going to happen.