MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers on Friday approved a member of the Georgia National Guard to serve as the Wisconsin National Guard’s new sexual misconduct ombudsman.
Lt. Col. Brian Bischoff will work with victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation and provide quarterly reports to Evers on complaints.
Evers’ office said in a statement that Bischoff is an Iraq veteran and has more than 17 years of experience as an Army attorney, including serving as one of the federal National Guard Bureau’s first special victims counsel. His duties in that position included advocating for sexual assault victims before military agencies, boards and courts-martial.
Evers created the position with an executive order in December after federal investigators issued a report revealing multiple shortcomings in the Wisconsin Guard’s sexual misconduct reporting protocols, most notably commanders opening their own internal investigations into complaints rather than referring them to Army or Air Force criminal investigators as required by federal law and Department of Defense policy.
The Wisconsin Guard’s top commander, Adj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, resigned at Evers’ request hours before the report was made public.
The Wisconsin National Guard has been shaken by recent allegations of officers brushing off sexual assault complaints and retaliating against victims for reporting incidents.
The executive order also requires the Wisconsin Guard to submit a corrective action plan to Evers within 60 days and submit to a follow-up review by National Guard Bureau investigators this fall.
Evers spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said the National Guard Bureau suggested Bischoff fill the ombudsman position and Evers approved. Bischoff will start next week and likely be stationed in Wisconsin, she said.