Who We Are
Judges and Staff Biographies
Judge Derek C. Mosley was appointed by the Milwaukee Common Council to fill the vacancy in Branch 2 starting on August 1, 2002. From 1995 until his appointment to the bench, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for Milwaukee County, where he represented the State of Wisconsin in over 1,000 criminal prosecutions. These cases included felonies, misdemeanors, traffic cases and juvenile delinquencies. Judge Mosley received his J.D. from Marquette University Law School. He is serving as the current Presiding Judge, after previously serving in the role from 2004 - 2012. His community activities include sitting on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit organizations, serving on the State Bar of Wisconsin's Public Trust & Confidence Committee, Public Image Committee and the Minority Recruitment Committee.
Judge Valarie A. Hill was elected in the April 2004 Spring Election to Branch 1 of the Municipal Court. From 1998 until her election to the bench, she served as a Milwaukee County Judicial Court Commissioner, where she presided over thousands of misdemeanor, felony, traffic, juvenile and small claims cases. Previously, Judge Hill served as a Deputy First Assistant, Senior Assistant and Assistant State Public Defender in the Milwaukee Trial Office where she was a member of the management team and handled thousands of criminal and administrative matters for indigent defendants. Judge Hill graduated from The Ohio State University and the University of Akron School of Law where she received the Black Law Student Association Highest GPA Award. She is active in numerous community-based organizations and is a member of the Wisconsin, Milwaukee and National Bar Associations as well as the National Association of Women Judges.
Judge Phil Chavez was elected in the April 2007 Spring Election to Branch 3 of the Municipal Court where he is currently serving his third 4-year term. From 2002 until his election on the bench, he served as a substitute judge in all three branches of the Milwaukee Municipal Court where he presided over thousands of cases. Previously, Judge Chavez served as a Municipal Judge for the Village of Mount Horeb in Dane County, Wisconsin where he was elected twice (2002,2004) for two-year terms. Judge Chavez earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, lettering in football as a member of the 1994 Rose Bowl Championship team, and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He served as the Court's Presiding Judge from 2012-2017. He is active in Veterans Stand Down where he provides community court for homeless and indigent veterans, volunteer coaches high school football, was a certified substitute teacher for grades K-12 and has sat on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics-Wisconsin for 9+ years.
Sheldyn M. Himle was appointed as the Municipal Court's Chief Court Administrator in December, 2012, after serving as its Assistant Court Administrator since May, 2010. Ms. Himle previously worked within Court Administration for the 4th Judicial District-Hennepin County, in Minnesota. Her work in the courts began in 2000, when she was the Court Administrator for the State of Minnesota Tax Court of Appeals. Prior to that, her work history includes having been a member of the Dean's Administration team at Hamline University School of Law, and a government relations representative and lobbyist for Grand Metropolitan Food Sector and the Pillsbury Company. She graduated magna cum laude from Hamline University, achieving a B.A. in Political Science.
Jane E. T. Islo became the Municipal Court's Assistant Court Administrator in January, 2013. Having been with the Municipal Court since November, 1995, she most recently served as the Court's Network Manager since May, 2006. Mrs. Islo holds B.A. degrees in both Mathematics and Psychology from Marquette University. Her prior career experience includes work in the financial industry.
Karla J. Thomsen was selected as the Municipal Court's Network Manager in March, 2017. Ms. Thomsen previously provided IT services at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, CT, and also served as a Network Node Supervisor in the U.S. Army. She is active in community organizations, is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and is a mentor to youth.
Deborah L. Taylor was promoted to the Court Services Coordinator in November, 2015, after serving as an Administrative Assistant III since June, 2010. Ms. Taylor came to the Court from the Health Department where she worked directly for the Commissioner of Health for 3 years. Her prior work history includes 18 years in administrative support roles and more than 20 years in the accounting and finance industries.
Mary A. O'Connor assumed the role of Management Accounting Specialist in May, 2015, after previously serving as the Municipal Court's Administrative Services Supervisor from June, 2010. Ms. O'Connor came to the court from the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD) where she worked as a supervisor in the Emergency Dispatch Center. Her work with the MFD began in 1991. She holds a Master's Degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University.