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Potential disciplinary action against Justice Prosser may never happen

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Justice David Prosser at a post-election news conference (Photo: Wisconsin Radio Network)
Justice David Prosser at a post-election news conference (Photo: Wisconsin Radio Network)

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - It could be a long time – if ever – before State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser faces possible action in a disciplinary case against him.

Special prosecutor Franklyn Gimbel says he’s been told by the state Judicial Commission not to pursue alternative courses of action against Prosser.

Gimbel told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The case is kind of stuck in quicksand right now.” He said he was considering other options to get the case moving, but he would not say what they were.

The Judicial Commission filed a complaint almost a year ago, claiming Prosser broke ethics rules with his alleged choke hold on fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in 2011.

The Supreme Court would have made the final decision on a punishment – but Prosser got off the hook after a majority of his colleagues said they would not rule in any such proceeding.

Normally in cases like this, the Supreme Court orders the formation of a three-judge panel to recommend a course of action to the justices. But the court never formed such a panel in Prosser’s case. And since the complaint was filed, the Journal Sentinel says the makeup of the Judicial Commission has changed so that it’s now controlled by appointees made by Governor Scott Walker – a vocal supporter of Prosser. 

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