John Byron ("J.B.") Van Hollen, Wisconsin's 43rd Attorney General, was elected on November 7, 2006, and assuming office on January 1, 2007.
During his campaign for Attorney General, Van Hollen identified the backlog of forensic DNA evidence in the State Crime Lab as the single most important public safety issue facing the Department of Justice and Wisconsin's justice system. Within weeks of becoming Attorney General, General Van Hollen worked with members of both parties in the Legislature and Governor Jim Doyle to secure an unprecedented 31 positions to address the Wisconsin Crime Lab backlog. With efficiencies and the cooperation of partner agencies, the State Crime Lab is on track to eliminate the backlog by 2010.
As Wisconsin's "Top Cop," General Van Hollen identified Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) as another priority vital to protecting Wisconsin's children from on-line predators. By raising awareness and partnering with the Legislature and the Governor, General Van Hollen secured additional resources to educate parents and children, identify, stop, and prosecute these predators. Working in partnership with local law enforcement authorities, the Department offers education, resources, and its expertise in this fight for the safety of some of our most vulnerable victims: children.
General Van Hollen has also restored an emphasis on the rule of law to the Department of Justice. Professionally-reasoned legal advice and client representation is now a hallmark of the Department's work.
General Van Hollen has been clear that restoring integrity and fighting crime would define his work as Attorney General. A philosophy of first principles, limited government, and the Department's role as an "exist to assist" state agency has guided his tenure as Attorney General.
Van Hollen graduated from St. Olaf College in 1988 with an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Economics. He earned his law degree two years later from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Van Hollen began his public service career as an Assistant State Public Defender in Spooner, Wisconsin. In 1991, he became a federal prosecutor, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Van Hollen as District Attorney in Ashland County, where he served for six years. He was subsequently appointed by Governor Thompson to serve as Bayfield County District Attorney. Van Hollen was later elected to the position, enjoying bi-partisan support as Bayfield County's only elected Republican.
Prior to becoming Attorney General, J.B. was appointed United States Attorney for Wisconsin's Western District in 2002 and served there until 2005.
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Madison Lawyers Chapter
January 26, 2011
State Attorney General Project
July 31, 2007