City of Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry is resigning from the Common Council, according to a report in the Waukesha Freeman.
According to the Freeman, Perry sent the following to city officials on Thursday:
“Effective today, December 17, 2020, I resign my position as Alderman of the 12th district of Waukesha. I’d like to thank the residents of Waukesha, the entire city staff, and our local businesses and developers. Although my tenure is ending prior to my planning, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and will support the next leader of district 12 and the common council.”
Perry’s decision to resign comes two weeks after a recall effort was started to remove him from office and just days after city of Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly stripped Perry of his committee assignments with the consent of the Common Council. Perry did not attend the meeting.
The alderman is facing domestic violence charges stemming from a November 9 incident involving his ex-wife and children at a residence outside of Perry’s district. Perry allegedly told his ex-wife that he would not be arrested because of his position with the city, and then allegedly told the responding police officers they would regret arresting him.
Perry has denied any wrongdoing in the incident but has offered no further explanation. He has also denied that the residence outside the district, which he gave to police as his address, is his primary residence and that he still lives in the district.
The November 9 incident and the question of Perry’s residence led to the formation of a recall committee to force him off of the city council.
In a statement on Facebook, the recall committee thanked Perry for resigning.
“We want to extend our gratitude to Aaron Perry for doing the right thing for the residents of the City of Waukesha, District 12, by allowing us to heal and move on from this current situation,” the Facebook post read. “We wish the whole Perry family a quick recovery and hope the rest of the community provides them the space to heal.”
In the 2020 November election, Perry was the Democratic candidate for Assembly in the 97th district. He lost to incumbent Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) 59% to 41%. It was the second time Perry lost to Allen, including when the alderman ran as a Republican in the 2014 August primary election.
After the November 9 incident became public, the Democratic of Party of Waukesha County gave his donations to a women’s shelter in Waukesha.
In 2019, Perry was very public with his switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party shortly after he won re-election as an alderman. Blaming President Donald Trump, Perry made numerous media appearances to complain about the state of the Republican Party.
After previously denying he was making a second run for the Assembly, this time as a Democrat, Perry announced in April he was running.
Perry is not the first to cause headaches for Assembly Democrats in the “#metoo” era. Rep. Staush Gruszynski, a Democrat from Green Bay, lost in the August Primary Election after if was learned he allegedly harassed a legislative staff member a year earlier.
In 2018, Rep. Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) was defeated after it was learned that he kissed two women against their will while he was intoxicated.
Assembly Democrats are led by Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), who was cited for solicitation in a prostitution sting in an Appleton massage parlor in 2011. Hintz later gained additional notoriety after yelling, “You’re f—–g dead!” at a female colleague in the Assembly after the Act 10 vote. Despite this history, Assembly Democrats elected Hintz as their leader on a unanimous vote.
On the Republican side, the 97th Assembly District was represented by Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) who did not run for re-election in 2014 after being charged with sexual assault. Kramer eventually pleaded no contest to fourth-degree sexual assault.