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MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today the appointment of State Representative Chris Danou, Victim/Witness Coordinator Gayle Patraw & District Attorney Brad Schimel to the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council.
The Wisconsin Crime Victims Council is a 15-member body that serves as an advisory body to the Attorney General. Council members are appointed by the Attorney General to three year terms. Of the fifteen members, ten are citizen appointees, two represent organizations that provide victim services, and one each represents law enforcement, district attorneys and the judiciary.
The Council also co-hosts with the Office of Crime Victims Services the annual crime victims' ceremony which is held in April during National Crime Victims Rights Week.
“I am so pleased these talented and civic minded citizens have agreed to serve on the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council,” said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. “I look forward to their contributions and efforts on behalf of Wisconsin's crime victims.”
Appointments announced today include:
State Representative Chris Danou – Chris lives in the Village of Trempealeau with his wife Kate and his two sons, Orion and Rowan. Chris was raised in Marshfield and is a graduate of Columbus High School. He graduated with distinction from the UW-Madison and earned a Master's degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. Returning to Wisconsin, Chris completed a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology from the UW-Stevens Point.
Chris was a Police Officer in the City of Onalaska. He was the President of the Onalaska Professional Police Association, a member of the County Emergency Response Team (SWAT Unit) and the Metropolitan Enforcement Group. Currently, Chris is the elected State Representative for the 91st Assembly District. He was recently named Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.
Gayle Patraw – Since 1992, Gayle has been the Victim Witness Coordinator for Crawford County. She provides services in the District Attorney's office to victims and witnesses of crime. She has held Administrative Assistant positions with various law firms prior to accepting her present position with Crawford County.
Gayle has been a member of the Wisconsin Victim Witness Professionals Association since 1992, serving as a member of the Board of Directors, and presently serves as President. In 1994, Gayle was a founding member of the Crawford County Domestic Abuse Task Force, and presently serves on the Task Force to raise awareness of domestic violence in Crawford County.
Gayle assisted in training members of the Crawford County Restorative Justice program, and recently participated in a Restorative Justice project at the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institute. Since the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institute opened, Gayle has presented to classes of inmates relative to victims and their experience in the criminal justice system. She has instructed law enforcement officers on victim issues, and assisted in training various community based organizations on domestic abuse issues.
District Attorney Brad Schimel – Brad was elected Waukesha County District Attorney in 2006. As District Attorney, he supervises 15 other attorneys and nearly three dozen support staff. As Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Waukesha County, he is responsible for prosecuting all crimes occurring in the county.
Brad began his career as a prosecutor during his internship in the Waukesha County District Attorneys Office in 1989. In 1990, he was sworn in as an Assistant District Attorney and served in that position for the next 16 years. The largest part of his career has been focused on prosecution of sexual assault and child abuse. Brad was a founding member of the Waukesha County Child Advocacy Center Task Force.
In 2006, the Wisconsin Association of Victim and Witness Professionals named Brad “Professional of the Year” for his commitment to helping sexual assault victims. Brad has also worked with ProHealth Care in the development of Waukesha County's first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program.
Brad grew up in the Town of Vernon and is a 1983 graduate of Mukwonago High School. He went on to UW Waukesha and UW Milwaukee, where he graduated with Commencement Honors with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1990. Brad and his wife Sandi have been married since 1996 and have two daughters.
The Council meets quarterly in Madison and meetings are open to the public. For further information about the Council or to forward suggestions for meetings or project topics, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Justice website.