Gov. Scott Walker announced Friday his appointment of Karl R. Hanson to replace retiring Rock County Judge James Daley.
Hanson, of Milton, is an assistant attorney general for the state Department of Justice.
He said he will start the Rock County job handling criminal cases March 5.
Hanson was a municipal judge for the towns of Milton, Harmony and Lima, but he said Friday he no longer will continue in those roles.
“I’m honored. I’m very happy that I can continue serving Rock County,” Hanson said. “I know I can do a good job for the community, and I’m excited to get to work.”
Hanson said he wanted to minimize the disruption his appointment would bring and keep the calendar of cases flowing well. He said transitions such as this are good times to review things and see what people think works and does not work.
Hanson was an attorney for the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, the Office of State Employment Relations and the law offices of Nowlan & Mouat, according to a Friday news release.
Hanson’s academic credentials include a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, a Masters of Public Administration from Western Kentucky University and an undergraduate degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, according to the release.
Hanson served for 10 years in the U.S. Army and Wisconsin National Guard, according to the release. He spent one tour in Bosnia and two in Iraq, where he was a staff officer in the Iraqi Prime Minister’s situation room.
“Hanson is a distinguished attorney and individual who has demonstrated impeccable character, service and integrity throughout his career,” Walker said in the release. “His legal acumen, dedication to public service, and commitment to the rule of law give me great confidence that he will make an excellent judge.”
After he returned from the armed forces to work at Nowlan & Mouat, Hanson said he felt a call to return to public service. He then held various state legal jobs before becoming an assistant attorney general.
On Friday, State Attorney General Brad Schimel praised Hanson.
“Hanson’s respect for the rule of law and understanding of his role as a member of the judiciary are ideal traits for a judicial candidate,” Schimel said in the release. “I also recommend AAG Hanson for this appointment because of his commitment to public service. His distinguished military career illustrates his dedication to public safety and service.”
Hanson said he has litigated cases in state and federal court, as well as civil and administrative cases.
The Gazette reported Jan. 24 that Hanson was the only person who had applied to replace Daley. A spokesperson for Walker’s office said Friday although Hanson was the main applicant, they were still confident in the selection.
Hanson, who is married with three children, will be up for election in April 2019 if he chooses to run.
After serving as a judge for 29 years, Daley’s last day will be March 2.
“Twenty-nine years on the bench is something he and Rock County should be proud of,” Hanson said. “I think he did an excellent job as a judge.
“I hope that 29 years from now when I’m retiring, the same can be said of me.”