Justice won’t step out of Prosser’s discipline case

Prosser asks six fellow justices to recuse themselves
Justice won’t step out of Prosser’s discipline case

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patrick Crooks said he won’t recuse himself from his colleague’s discipline case.

The state Judicial Commission has accused Justice David Prosser of violating judicial ethics when he allegedly wrapped his hands around Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during an argument last year. Crooks was the only justice who didn’t witness the incident.

Prosser has been trying to stop the discipline process by asking all six of his fellow justices to recuse themselves from the matter. He maintains they’re witnesses or are biased against him.

Justice Pat Roggensack is the only justice who has agreed to recuse herself so far. Crooks said Wednesday he’s not a witness, he can judge the case fairly and he must serve since the court is the only body that can discipline Prosser.

Meanwhile, state Judicial Commission has again demanded the state Supreme Court establish a panel to weigh accusations against Prosser.

The state Judicial Commission told the court last month state law mandates the justices form the panel. The commission’s attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, reiterated the request Tuesday. The commission wants the court to appoint a three-judge panel to consider its complaint.

Prosser maintains panel formation takes a formal order from the court. He’s trying to make sure that doesn’t happen by demanding the justices recuse themselves from the matter because they witnessed the incident.

Gimbel said Prosser’s arguments lack merit.