Judge D. Todd Ehlers, Door County’s Circuit Court Judge in Branch One, announced Wednesday that he will be retiring at the end of his current term.
Ehlers said he has submitted his notification of noncandidacy to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. His term ends July 31, 2024.
Ehlers has been one of Door County’s judges since August 1, 2000, when he was first elected to succeed Judge John Koehn. His 24 years on the bench is the third-longest tenure by a judge in county history.
“It has been my extreme pleasure to have served the citizens of Door County and the State of Wisconsin as one of their circuit court judges the past 23 years,” he said in a release announcing his retirement. “What greater privilege and honor could there be than to have the chance to return to the community where you were born and raised to work and serve for almost 40 years,” he said. “I want to thank my judicial colleagues, court reporters, judicial assistants and other court staff, and clerks of court and their deputy clerks for their comradery and assistance during my years of service.”
Ehlers, a Sevastopol native and graduate of St. Norbert College and Marquette University Law School, practiced law in Sturgeon Bay for 16 years prior to his election. In addition to serving as one of Door County’s judges, Ehlers was elected by his judicial colleagues to serve on the Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instructions Committee from 2010 to 2020, the last three years as its chair. That committee drafts the instructions used by judges across the state in criminal jury trials.
In 2012, the Wisconsin Supreme Court appointed Ehlers to the Wisconsin Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee for nine years (the last five as its chair) which renders formal advisory opinions and offers informal advice to judges and judicial officers regarding ethical standards under the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct.
The election to succeed Ehlers will be held April 2, 2024, with the new judge taking office on Aug. 1, 2024.