Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, July 22, 2016

Alumnus Peter Tempelis chosen as assistant attorney general in Wisconsin

Peter Tempelis Peter Tempelis

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel named Peter Tempelis (MPA, JD ’06) an assistant attorney general in the Medicaid Fraud Control & Elder Abuse Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 

Tempelis, who in 2015 was honored by the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association as the state’s Assistant District Attorney of the Year, previously served as an assistant district attorney and team captain of the Domestic Violence (DV) Unit for the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office. In 2015, the unit prosecuted a high 637 felony cases, thousands of misdemeanor cases, and an unprecedented 90 trials.

For Milwaukee County, Tempelis led a team of 10 prosecutors and personally handled complex and high-profile cases, including officer use-of-force matters. Among his other responsibilities, Tempelis and Cudahy Police Chief Thomas Poellot, president of the Milwaukee County Law Enforcement Executives, led the largest grant-funded implementation of an evidence-based intimate-partner violence homicide prevention initiative, called the Lethality Assessment Program, in the country. The program is being implemented statewide.

Before his departure to the Attorney General's Office, Tempelis helped lead the Domestic Violence Unit’s transition to serve the new Sojourner Family Peace Center, the largest, most comprehensive family justice center in the country.

Tempelis has worked with La Follette on various research initiatives. For example, through his service on the executive board of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, Tempelis and other stakeholders asked the La Follette School in 2010 to study the turnover of assistant district attorneys in Wisconsin. The study, led by Professor Emeritus Dennis Dresang, helped result in the State Legislature passing a 17-step merit pay progression law for assistant district attorneys following advocacy by the Association of State Prosecutors and Wisconsin District Attorneys Association.

Tempelis began state service in 2006 as an assistant district attorney and public service special prosecutor for Jefferson County, where he handled a diverse array of cases for the District Attorney and drafted the legal policy and procedure creating the first juvenile drug treatment court in Wisconsin. His twin brother, Eric, and sister, Melinda (Mindy) also earned political science, public affairs, and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.