On Nov. 29, Milwaukee County Sheriff-elect Earnell Lucas named leaders in the law enforcement, communications and legal professions to executive positions in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. Lucas announced the appointments of Denita Ball as Chief Deputy Sheriff, Faithe Colas as Director of Public Affairs and Community Engagement and Molly Zillig as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer.
“Throughout their distinguished careers, Dr. Ball, Colas and Zillig have demonstrated honor, integrity and a commitment to a strong and safe Milwaukee County,” said Lucas. “I am profoundly grateful for their eagerness to step forward and serve our community as senior executives of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.
“When Dr. Ball takes office, she will make history as the highest-ranking woman to serve in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office,” continued Lucas. “I am honored to work alongside trailblazing leaders like Dr. Ball, Colas and Zillig who represent the best of Milwaukee County. Ms. Zillig will also make history as the first Chief Legal and Compliance Officer to serve in a Wisconsin sheriff’s office. The creation of this role, which exists in successful sheriff’s offices across the United States, reflects our administration’s commitment to nationally-recognized best practices for law enforcement and correctional management.”
As Chief Deputy Sheriff, Ball will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. A retired deputy inspector in the Milwaukee Police Department, Ball served as the field commander responsible for all department operations during evenings, weekends and holidays. She previously commanded the Professional Performance Division, the Sensitive Crimes Unit, the Neighborhood Task Force and Police District Four. Ball holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University and directed the Criminal Justice Program for Bryant & Stratton College’s three Milwaukee-area campuses.
As Director of Public Affairs and Community Engagement, Colas will coordinate community outreach, constituent services and media relations for the Sheriff’s Office. Colas, who currently served as assistant divisional director of development for The Salvation Army, continues a thirty-year career in communications and public relations. Colas is the retired publisher of the Milwaukee Courier and president of VonCommunications, founded by her late husband, radio host and political commentator Eric Von.
As Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Zillig will oversee policy development, professional standards and training for the Sheriff’s Office. In her current role as Assistant Corporation Counsel with the Milwaukee County Office of Corporation Counsel, Zillig has represented the Sheriff’s Office in litigation and provided legal counsel to the agency. Previously, Zillig was a law clerk to the late Court of Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine and an attorney in private practice.
Earnell Lucas, a decorated law enforcement executive, was elected as the 65th Sheriff of Milwaukee County on Nov. 6, 2018. Lucas served 25 years in the Milwaukee Police Department and retired as a captain and district commander. He currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Chief Liaison of Security and Investigations for the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. Lucas graduated from Rufus King High School and Marquette University (BA, Criminal Justice and Law Studies) and holds management certificates from Northwestern University, the FBI National Academy, and the Senior Management Institute for Police. Lucas resides in Milwaukee with his wife.