For Chisholm It's Not What You Did, It's Who You Lived With
I firmly believe that if Brian Pierick had lived with anyone other than Tim Russell, he would have never been charged with 28 years worth of felonies by the Milwaukee County DA's Office. Unfortunately for Pierick, he lived with Russell - and ended up being used as a pawn in John Chisholm's seemingly never ending leak filled John Doe investigation.
Let's review the bidding.
Tim Russell was an aide to Scott Walker when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive. The now infamous John Doe investigation commenced when Walker went to prosecutors with concerns over whether Russell had mishandled public money. At the time, Brian Pierick was Tim Russell's live-in partner.
In December of 2010, authorities executed a search warrant at Russell's residence looking for evidence of financial misconduct on the part of Russell. In the course of the search, investigators seized a smart phone subscribed to by Russell but allegedly used by Pierick.
According to the Pierick complaint, the iPhone contained evidence of improper exchanges between Pierick and a high school student that occurred between September and November of 2010. Pierick initially came into contact with the boy after responding to an ad the boy (claiming to be of age) placed on Craigslist. During their "chats", the young man in question consistently maintained that he was of legal age. The two men never met in person.
In any event, in January of 2012, the DA's Office issued felony charges of child enticement against Pierick. These charges were issued at the same time public corruption charges were brought against Russell and one other person.
You will never convince me that the prosecution of Pierick was anything other than an effort by the DA's Office to gain leverage over Russell in an effort to get him to implicate others.
Think about it.
If authorities had evidence that caused them to seriously believe that Pierick was a dangerous predator trolling for underage children, how could you wait over a year to issue charges against him? Heck, a high school student in Racine says a teacher made improper remarks to her and the coach was charged within a week!
I think the answer is that the DA's Office realized all along that this case was grossly overcharged.
As evidence, witness how the case was resolved.
Tim Russell was convicted and has been sentenced.
A mere couple of days following the Russell sentencing, the DA's Office agreed in court to plead down Pierick's case to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a child. This would have been a pretty dramatic reduction if they really believed that Pierick was guilty of child enticement - but not if the entire prosecution was really about leverage over othersI
In any event, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Patrick Haughney appeared to see this case for what it really was when he fined Pierick $2148 and sentenced him to 50 hours of community service. A far cry from 28 years in prison.
With the resolution of the Pierick case, my guess is that the John Doe investigation is about ready to be closed. History will decide whether it was worth the time and effort.
For Brian Pierick though, you have to wonder whether justice was served. You see, in this case, I think it might be less about what Pierick did - and more about who he lived with.