The Dane County Sheriff's Office is taking over the investigation into allegations that state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser choked colleague Ann Walsh Bradley during an argument the day before the court issued its decision on the controversial measure to curb public worker collective bargaining rights.
The sheriff's office is getting involved in the investigation of the June 13 incident the request of Capitol Police, sheriff's office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said in a statement.
"The Dane County Sheriff's Office recognizes the significance and sensitive nature of this investigation," Schaffer said in the statement. "Beginning today, detectives will work diligently to conduct a thorough and timely investigation."
Schaffer said no further information would be made available while the investigation is in its early stages.
Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said in a statement that he turned the investigation over to the sheriff's office after consulting with members of the Supreme Court. He referred any questions about the investigation to the sheriff's office.
Prosser denies the incident occurred, while Bradley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Prosser put her in a chokehold after she demanded that he leave her office.
The state Judicial Commission has also launched an investigation of its own, the commission said in a statement issued on Monday.
The nine-member commission, which is charged with enforcing standards of judicial behavior on and off the bench, confirmed that it received information about an incident that occurred at the state Supreme Court and authorized an investigation on Friday.
"The investigation will be conducted without prejudgment in a fair and thorough manner in accord with Commission procedures" set forth in state statutes and Wisconsin Administrative Code.
The Judicial Commission's proceedings are confidential and it will have no further comment, the commission's statement said.