Wisconsin corrections chief resigns amid youth prison investigation

GREG MOORE, AP writer

Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall has resigned amid an investigation into allegations of abuse at the state’s youth prison, the governor’s office said as news emerged that the FBI had taken over the inquiry there.

Gov. Scott Walker’s staff says Wall submitted his letter of resignation Feb. 5.

He will be replaced by Jon Litscher, who served as the corrections secretary more than a decade ago.

The announcement follows the revelation that a judge sent a letter four years ago warning the governor of possible criminal conduct at the Lincoln Hills School in Irma. Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick has said the governor never saw the note and that it had been referred to the Corrections Department.

The state Department of Justice opened an investigation last year into allegations ranging from sexual assault to misconduct in public office.

“The FBI has transitioned from assisting in the investigation to leading the investigation,” FBI spokesman Leonard Peace said Friday. He said he couldn’t comment on the reason for the switch, since it was an ongoing federal matter.

Litscher has most recently worked as a school superintended in Cambria. He ran the Corrections Department from 1999-2003.

Wall said in his letter of resignation that “the time has come to turn the page for the Department of Corrections and step aside to allow a new person with fresh perspectives to lead the agency forward.” The letter makes no mention of the Lincoln Hills probe.