MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today his appointment of Karl Hayes to serve as Vilas County District Attorney. Gov. Evers’ appointment fills a vacancy created by the appointment of former District Attorney Martha Milanowski to the Vilas County Circuit Court. Hayes will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term that ends January 2025.
“With a track record of excellence and high commendations from previous colleagues, Karl has demonstrated his commitment to upholding justice and fighting for his community,” said Gov. Evers. “I have the utmost confidence in his ability to serve the people of Vilas County well as their new district attorney.”
Hayes, who previously served in the Vilas County District Attorney’s Office as a legal intern, has family connections to Vilas County and will be relocating back to the area. Hayes has been an assistant district attorney with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office since 2007. His 15 years of experience prosecuting misdemeanors and felonies include working as a felony drug prosecutor, a firearms prosecutor, as part of the homicide unit, and with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force. Hayes currently is a team captain in the office’s general felony prosecution unit and serves as a mentor for younger prosecutors. Prior to earning his law degree, Hayes was a teacher and coached baseball and basketball.
“I am deeply honored to accept the appointment to serve as Vilas County’s District Attorney,” said Hayes. “The promotion of peace and safety in the community through just prosecution of crime is my highest priority. The people of Vilas County can be confident that I will be a good steward of County resources, and that all who come into contact with the District Attorney’s Office will be treated with dignity, fairness and respect. I look forward to coming to the Northwoods and getting down to work.”
“I am extremely proud that Karl Hayes has been appointed by Governor Evers to be the District Attorney of Vilas County,” said Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. “Karl is an exceptionally skilled prosecutor who has successfully held some of the most dangerous people in our community accountable. He is also the embodiment of a professional and principled prosecutor who seeks justice above all else. He will apply reason and compassion in equal measure in his dealings with victims and the accused. The people of Vilas County will quickly see how fortunate they are to have him as district attorney.”
A photo of Hayes is available here.