Last month, when Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman recused himself from hearing the disciplinary case against fellow Justice David Prosser, it appeared the case was officially dead.

Now a suggestion that the chief justice refer the case to the Court of Appeals has drawn a stinging response from Prosser's lawyer.

Prosser is facing possible discipline for a June 2011 incident in which he put his hands on the neck of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley after he says she charged at him during a heated argument. Six of the seven justices were present.

Prosser has asked the entire panel to recuse itself, saying that state law and ethics rules bar them from sitting on a case in which they are witnesses or participants or know information that could prejudice their decision.

By the time Gableman recused himself Aug. 11, two justices had already stepped down from the case. Counting Prosser, that made four of the seven-member court disqualified to consider the matter. That left only three justices including Bradley — not enough for a quorum.

But Prosser and the Wisconsin Judicial Commission continue to battle over whether the case can still proceed.

Late last month, the commission's special prosecutor, attorney Franklyn Gimbel, suggested that Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson move the case to the next step in the process and send it to the Court of Appeals for appointment of a three-judge panel for a hearing.

Prosser's attorney responded Tuesday, saying such a move would be inappropriate and unprecedented and could lead to "mischief and chaos," with dueling orders from different justices.

Prosser's attorney, Kevin Reak, argued in a letter filed Tuesday that sending the case to the appeals court would "trigger a meaningless but very costly 'mock trial' that can never produce a definitive conclusion."

In a letter to the court, Gimbel argued that state law requires the commission to prosecute all formal complaints of misconduct "regardless of the end result." Not doing so, he wrote, "would leave allegations of judicial misconduct unaddressed."

The Prosser matter is the third disciplinary case brought against a state Supreme Court justice in the past four years. In 2008, Justice Annette Ziegler was publicly reprimanded after she acknowledged a conflict of interest while on the Washington County Circuit Court, where she sat on cases involving West Bend Savings Bank, whose board of directors included her husband.

In 2010, the Supreme Court deadlocked 3-3 on whether to discipline Gableman, who was accused of airing a 2008 campaign ad that he knew was false against his opponent, then-Justice Louis Butler.

So far in the Prosser case, the recusals have fallen along ideological lines, with conservative justices Patience Roggensack, Gableman and Ziegler agreeing to step down.

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Universalcare
Universalcare

Well, Typo, let's just send this case to the court of appeals and see what they think.

Comment deleted.
array1
array1

Oh Now I see. That must be why Prosser wants all the witnesses to recuse themselves.

joebob
joebob

Flush Prosser!!
He is everything wrong with rethugs
All wrapped up into one

srwspoon
srwspoon

Both Prosser & Bradley should be disciplined, they both violated Judicial ethics, PERIOD! Anyone who cannot see that has completely succumb to the partisan political BS surrounding the case.

Comment deleted.
IndependentsRuleTheRoost
IndependentsRuleTheRoost

45acp,
"Justice Prosser is a great man..." are you completely insane?!?!?!

I think Bradley was clearly the aggresser in the incident but to claim that Prosser is a "great man" is completely unhinged on your part.

Universalcare
Universalcare

45acp, I don't remember news reports stating you were in the room to see all of it. Good grief.

Typothetes
Typothetes

Well, Universalcare, you weren't there either. Would you like to read the statements of those who WERE THERE? Here is the link to the Sheriff's invastigation report:
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/c3/4c314d8a-cff8-11e0-b72d-001cc4c03286/4e57bc07d217d.pdf.pdf

When you read the report, it is pretty obvious that the majority of the WITNESSES state that Bradley was the agressor. Even more damning, Bradley's own statements are lame and don't justify the fact that SHE CALLED THE POLICE to complain about Prosser's conduct. Following are parts of BRADLEY's STATEMENT TO INVESTIGATORS:

"Justice Bradley stated her intention was to get close to him [Prosser] to make sure he knew that she meant it."

"We [Sheriff Investigators] asked Justice Bradley if she had feared for her physical safety as the incident was happening and she responded by saying 'not really'."


ALSO NOTE, from the Sheriff's report that BOTH female Justices Abrahamson and Roggensack, that Prosser applied no pressure to Bradley's neck:

"Justice Roggensack then said she wanted to make it clear that at no point did Justice Prosser have Justice Bradley in a chokehold, and Justice Prosser never applied pressure with his hands on Justice Bradley. Justice Roggensack said as soon as Justice Prosser's hands were placed on Justice Bradley, she got in between the two of them and she immediately told Justice Bradley that this was not like her."

"The Chief Justice [Abrahamson] said when Justice Bradley approached Justice Prosser, she observed Justice Prosser put both his hands up and put them on the neck area of Justice Bradley. From the Chief' Justice's vantage point, it did not appear as though Justice Prosser exerted any pressure."

SO, Universalcare, WHAT is YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE INCIDENT?

Bradley, and many of her supporters, are guilty of a smear campaign against Prosser. None of the Prosser attackers can cite eyewitness accounts that support their smear of Prosser.

The facts more clearly support the scenario that Bradley lost her cool and tried to physically intimidate Prosser. Then, when he clumsily tried to react to her approach, she takes advantage of some unintentional reaction to score political points.

Bradley should be the one charged with workplace violence, if anyone, not Prosser. The facts are clear.

Robert W Reid
Robert W Reid

That Prosser's mad, "'tis true; 'tis true 'tis pity; And pity 'tis 'tis true."

koala
koala

Sending the Prosser hearing to the Court of Appeals is FAR, FAR better than allowing the "perfect crime" scenario within the very offices of the State Supreme Court to continue to play out. The whole notion that Prosser (or anyone else in his position) could immunize himself against prosecution by committing an assault witnessed by his fellow Justices should be appalling to any fair-minded citizen, regardless of party. The air must be cleared. A fair, non-partial body should hear the case and either clear Prosser or condemn him.

Mr LaMarr
Mr LaMarr

Prostate and the rest of the bunch should be sent packing. They are ALL an embarrassment to our State!

Universalcare
Universalcare

Who cares what Prosser's lawyer thinks. He's is not suppose to agree with sending the case to the appeals court-HE WORKS FOR PROSSER!! This case should have been sent to appeals court a long time ago. Make it happen, Shirley!

spcrdplyr
spcrdplyr

The ENTIRE Wisconsin Supreme Court is the laughing stock of the United States. They belong down in Illinois where they all would fit right in. I wish we had the option to select "None of the above" when it is time to vote.

Congratulations you bunch of law school graduates you have made me ashamed to admit I am from Wisconsin. Please do us all a favor and RESIGN NOW!!

And you Prosser, I am really sorry I voted for your sorry excuse of a person, much less a lawyer that should be looked up to.

bobsuruncle
bobsuruncle

Unfair and Unbalanced Prosser needs to leave the WI Halls of Justice and take Gableman with him. State Supreme Court Justices (Prosser & Gableman) should not refer to a female coworker Judge as a "B-word". Both have tarnished the Bench through their misconduct & unethical behavior.

array1
array1

prosser assaults a female coworker and then his attorney says a displinary hearing would lead to mischief and chaos. Is this more funny or more pathetic, what do you think Lynne??

wisc_sci_guy
wisc_sci_guy

The Wisc. Supreme Court either needs to be cleaned up or cleared out. If it takes sending cases of misconduct against sitting justices to the appeals court then they better do it or we the voters should kick their "I'm-above-the-law" fannies out!

gobi
gobi

If he did nothing wrong, then what does he have to worry about? Prosser is quite pitiful, actually.