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Wisconsin alderman on Oath Keepers membership list resigns

Kenosha Protest Shootings
Posted at 1:48 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 14:48:52-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A local alderman in Wisconsin whose name appears on the membership rolls of a far-right extremist group has resigned citing safety concerns for his family.

Madison Alderman Gary Halverson was among hundreds of elected officials, military members, and law enforcement officers who were on a leaked list of Oath Keepers members, the group that's accused of playing a key role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Halverson said his resignation follows some vandalism at his house, which he said has triggered symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for his wife.

"For anyone who has PTSD, or lived with someone who does, knows that when something happens that is triggering, it is absolutely terrifying, and that terror can last for days or weeks or longer," Halverson said in a statement. He did not specify what damage was done to his property or how it might be linked to his Oath Keepers membership.

Halverson was elected in April 2021 and had one year left in his term.

Halverson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he joined the Oath Keepers in mid-2020 without vetting the organization.

"I thought I joined an organization that welcomed veterans who cared about our democracy," Halverson said earlier this month. "I was misled and I terminated the membership two months later in Aug 2020."

The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism identified more than 609 people living in Wisconsin as members, including six elected officials, four currently working in law enforcement agencies, one member of the military, and three first responders.