After years of trying, Calumet County was finally awarded a second Circuit Court judge—and next Tuesday, April 6 the county’s voters will pick the first judge to hold that seat.
Kimberly Tenerelli and Carey Reed both announced their candidacies early last year after the Branch 2 position was confirmed.
Following is information supplied to the Tri-County News by each candidate. The order in which it appears here was determined by a coin flip.
Attorney Carey Reed is a lifelong resident of northeast Wisconsin. He is the eighth of nine children. His dad is a deacon with the Catholic Church, but he calls his mom the true saint for staying home to raise him, his four brothers, and his four sisters.
In 2003, Reed and his wife Amy Jo—a “farm girl” from Wrightstown—moved from Kimberly to Harrison, where they have built their home and raised three daughters.
Reed attended Appleton Xavier High School, stayed in Wisconsin for college, and graduated from Marquette Law School in 1997. He began his career in a local law firm, where he was appointed as special prosecutor to handle cases for district attorneys in three surrounding counties.
Reed’s current practice focus is children’s and family law, as well as civil and criminal litigation. He serves as a guardian ad Litem, representing the interests of children in Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties. He said he lives by the saying, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life!”
As a lawyer, Reed’s job allows him to help troubled youths, families in crisis, and those injured—often through no fault of their own. Helping people make it through the most difficult challenges of life is why Reed does what he does, he said. When he is not working, he can be found outside camping with his family, bicycling/racing around Lake Winnebago, gardening with his wife and children, or playing with his granddaughter.
Reed said he will bring the same passion he has for family, work, and community to the bench. “Calumet County residents can be assured they will get a judge who lives in this county and a judge who will work every day with the same values of citizens who live and work here,” he said.
Reed added, “Unlike my opponent, I live here and won’t have to move to the county if I win. I have more legal experience than my opponent. I have 24 years of experience wherein I have practiced a wide variety of law including but not limited to criminal prosecution and defense, family law, negligence law, contract law, business law, school law, municipal law, will and trusts, landlord tenant law.
“I will be able to handle any case that comes before me on day one as the new judge. I am excited to start a treatment court in Calumet County wherein we will monitor offenders with drug and alcohol addiction, get them treatment and hopefully keep them from coming back to the justice system as repeat offenders. A treatment court will benefit the citizens of Calumet County by reducing the cost of repeat prosecution and incarceration of those who would otherwise reoffend without treatment.
“I am so fortunate to be supported by more judges (including Calumet County Judge Jeffrey Froehlich), law enforcement, firefighters and colleagues who trust me to be the next judge. Judges and colleagues who have endorsed me say that I have the integrity, experience and proper disposition to be the new judge for Calumet County. I love what I do and I will be honored to be the next Calumet County judge.”
Kimberly A. Tenerelli
Kimberly A. Tenerelli is currently the corporation counsel of Calumet County.
She is married to Keith and they will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year. They have four daughters—two are happily married, Stephanie and Ally (from Keith’s previous marriage); two daughters are in school—Emma is a freshman in high school; Grace is in seventh grade.
“I am involved in the community through school participation, including previously volunteering as the PTA treasurer,” Tenerelli said. “I am involved in our church; however, due to COVID, it has been virtual this past year. I am involved in the New Holstein Kiwanis and the Red Cross, organizing blood drives at the Calumet County Courthouse throughout the year.”
Asked about her qualifications to be a judge, Tenerelli said, “I have significant case handling experience, handling over 8,000 cases in my career, including criminal and civil cases. I have handled felonies and misdemeanors cases. Cases involving domestic violence, abusive head trauma cases—where children will never be physically and emotionally the same again—sexual assaults, drug charges, and all other types of crimes. I have handled traffic cases, including OWI homicides. I have handled juvenile delinquency matters—from arson to truancy, as well as CHIPS (Children in Need of Protection and Service) and TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) cases. I have handled civil cases, including child support, paternity, guardianships, protective placements, and emergency detentions. In addition, I advise county departments on all types of legal matters. I have a well-rounded background in criminal and civil cases/issues.
“I have significant experience in the courtroom. In Calumet County, experience with criminal law and OWI cases is key. Statistics in Calumet County show that criminal law and traffic are 56 percent of all contested cases. 82 percent of my case handling is criminal and traffic. Because criminal and OWI cases are the most likely to go to a jury trial, it is important that this individual be well versed in jury trial handling and have experience in participating in jury trails. I have that experience. I have tried approximately 50 to 75 jury trials.”
She added, “As a prosecutor and the Calumet County corporation counsel I represent the people of the state or the county respectively. I do not get to pick my cases. I must handle the cases that come to me. If they are difficult or challenging, I cannot choose not to take them, I handle the cases as they come. Just as a judge would have to do.
“Because the Legislature mandated a drug treatment court for any county awarded a new judge, this judge must have experience working with and bringing together a diverse group to achieve a common goal. I have that experience. I have worked on the Child Death Review Committee (Fond du Lac), the Domestic Violence Task Force (Outagamie), and the Child Welfare Collaborating Team (Calumet County). In addition, I am the legal advisor to all Calumet County committees, boards, and commissions.
“I can be fair and impartial and treat litigants, attorneys, and staff with respect. I will not legislate from the bench. I do not have any allegiances to any businesses or individuals.”
Tenerelli listed these issues facing the judicial system:
1—Substance abuse issues, drugs and alcohol (OWIs). The drug court will address how these cases can be more effectively addressed.
2—Mental health issues affecting litigants. “If individuals are struggling with mental illness, I would like to be able to refer them to Calumet County Behavioral Health Unit for assistance as part of their criminal case,” she said. “I would work with the county on this type of program.”
3—At present, there is a lack of qualified advocates for children called Guardians ad Litem (GAL) in Calumet County. “Currently, I am working with the Child Welfare Collaborating Team to develop a program to recruit qualified attorneys to be GALs in Calumet County. I am excited about the progress this group has made on this issue. I would continue to be a part of this group as a judge.”
4—Minorities are often disproportionately treated in the criminal justice system. “This is not specific to Calumet County but facing the courts/judicial system overall. I believe education and training will assist in overcoming this disproportionality.”