MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack was put on the defensive Wednesday, as fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley renewed concerns about her safety less than a week before Roggensack stands for re-election.
Bradley submitted a court filing which said she was given added police security over two months before Justice David Prosser put her in a choke hold in a June 2011 altercation.
Prosser was not charged in the incident. But Bradley said that to this day, she and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson lock themselves in their offices when working after hours because they remain concerned about Prosser’s behavior.
Roggensack’s been trying to downplay the court’s internal strife in her campaign, calling it “gossip at its worst.” She said Wednesday that the court has had no major outbursts since the 2011 blowup.
Roggensack said she also works nights and weekends without locking her door – and if there’s a security plan, she wants to know more about it. Her campaign consultant, Brandon Scholz, said the timing of the liberal Bradley’s court filing was political.
If Roggensack loses in Tuesday’s primary, the Supreme Court would lose its conservative majority.
Bradley denied trying to sway voters, while both of Roggensack’s primary opponents expressed new criticisms. Vince Megna said Bradley, “confirms the sickness of our court.”
Ed Fallone said Roggensack should retract her comments that everything’s fine, and apologize to Bradley.
In her court ruling, Bradley withdrew from a possible ethics ruling against Prosser, saying she was a direct witness to the behavior in question.
A majority of the justices have now withdrawn – and it does not leave enough to rule on a complaint against Prosser from the state’s Judicial Commission.