Justice Prosser’s Attorney Charges "Mischief"


The attorney representing State SupremeCourt Justice David Prosser is accusing the state judicial commission of promoting mischief and chaos in their pursuit of an ethics complaint against Prosser.

Three of the seven justices have recused themselves from considering the complaint because they witnessed the incident in which Justice Prosser placed his hands around Justice Anne Walsh Bradley’s neck in June of last year. Two weeks ago Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson sent a letter to tojudicial Commission and Prosser’s Attorney Kevin Reak asking them to consider other ways of proceeding with the stalled ethics complaint In a letter to the court this week Reak said the court should take no action until after Abrahamson decides whether she will recuse herself because she also witnessed the incident.He went on to say that if the chief justice acts on her own to appoint an appeals court panel to hear the complaint she will be creating chaos and mischief and settingthe he stage for a mock trial. But U-W Law school professor Walter Dickey saysuntil the facts are placed before an independent panel the issue of how many justices have recused themselves is irrelevant.

“The judicial disciplinary process ought to proceed as it ordinarily might and that may result on no action because they might find no basis for discipline or they might find basis for discipline in which case it would come up before the court and that would be the moment at which the controversy was ripe,” he says.

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The attorney for the Judicial Commission, Frank Gimbel, has made similar arguments about the ripeness of this ethics complaint, but if it continues to languish in legal limbo it just might rot on the vine.