Chair of Wisconsin Parole Commission resigns

Resignation comes after controversial decision to grant parole to man convicted of wife's murder

MADISON, Wis. — John Tate, the chairman of the Wisconsin Parole Commission, has resigned his position effective Friday.

In his resignation letter, which Gov. Tony Evers’ office shared with News 3 Now, Tate said he gave his “effort to be fair, just, and understanding” while making parole decisions.

“My purpose as Parole Chair was not to inflict more punishment or be the agent of vengeance, but to assess and determine if these men and women had indeed become more than the harm they committed,” Tate wrote. “In so many cases, I had the privilege to observe rehabilitation and redemption in real time. To the men and women who earned that second chance and thanked me for it, I express my gratitude to them for the opportunity to validate some of the most incredible changes one could imagine observing in a human being.”

Earlier this year, Tate came under fire when he agreed to grant parole for Douglas Balsewicz, who was convicted of killing his wife in 1997. Evers later asked Tate to rescind Balsewicz’s parole, which Tate did.

A spokesperson for Evers did not provide a reason for Tate’s resignation but said the governor had asked him to step down. Tate’s letter does not address the controversy.