Two months before state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put his hands on Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's neck during a heated argument, Bradley and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson devised a security plan with Capitol Police that included locking themselves in their offices when working at night and weekends, Bradley revealed in a legal memo Wednesday.

In addition to locking their doors, Bradley said she and Abrahamson were given then-Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs' cellphone number in case of emergency and were told there would be more frequent patrols of their Capitol offices.

Bradley also wrote that 16 months before the now-infamous June 13, 2011, altercation, she and Justice Patrick Crooks approached the director of state courts "asking that something be done about Justice Prosser," whom she described as having a history of "abusive temper tantrums."

Bradley made the statements in her decision to recuse herself from the disciplinary case against Prosser filed by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission. The case has stalled since three other justices, plus Prosser, have declined to participate, meaning the seven-member court does not have a quorum to consider the matter.

A message left at Prosser's office Wednesday afternoon was not returned.

Bradley's decision to recuse was expected. But she used the occasion to lash out at Prosser and at fellow Justice Pat Roggensack, whom she accused of downplaying discord on the court to boost her re-election campaign.

Roggensack faces two primary challengers on Tuesday for another 10-year term on the court. The incumbent has called charges by her opponents that the court is dysfunctional "a bunch of gossip."

"It strains credulity that a justice on our court would be perpetuating the myth that our issues of workplace safety and work environment have somehow healed themselves," Bradley wrote.

But Roggensack said her statements were intended to describe the current functioning of the court, not the earlier incident, which she called "awful, terrible and inappropriate."

"Did I think what happened in June 2011 was fine? No," Roggensack said. "But that was nearly two years ago. Nothing has happened since then."

She added that the court regularly meets to discuss cases and "nobody's edgy or yelling or doing anything inappropriately. ... On a daily basis, we're doing fine."

Prosser has successfully argued that without a quorum, the court cannot move his disciplinary case to the next step, a three-judge panel, which would hold a public hearing on the allegations.

Bradley accused Prosser of "procedural maneuvers designed to foreclose any opportunity for a public hearing" which "deprived this court of a quorum and may deprive the people of this state a full opportunity to learn what happened."

Three of the seven justices have faced discipline over the past five years. In one case, Justice Annette Ziegler acknowledged having a conflict of interest when serving as a lower-court judge. In another case, the court deadlocked 3-3 along ideological lines about whether to discipline Justice Michael Gableman over a misleading campaign ad.

Bradley called on the court to put others in charge of disciplining Supreme Court justices.

"The current system," Bradley wrote, "destroys collegiality, compromises accountability and contributes to the dysfunction of the court."

(13) comments

LAXTEA

This "story" has been proven false today by Capital security.

Napoleon
Napoleon

Re: "Prosser used an expletive to insult Abrahamson during an argument and threatened to destroy her."

Prosser is the Bill Feehan of state judges: won't fight a man, but will fight a woman.

“A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide.”
― Mickey Mantle

“Haters and bullies are always cowards, you know. They like to pick on little guys.”
― Scylar Tyberius, Sebastian the Great

“Cowardice rightly understood begins with selfishness and ends with shame.”
― José Rizal, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)

“Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion is the better part of valor, so was cowardice is the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in a closet.”
― Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything

“He who has conquered his own coward spirit has conquered the whole outward world;”
― Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

What does this story have to do with anything? Nothing except an attempt by the liberal media to generate some negative buzz about the court when it appears the incumbent is going to win in a breeze.

LAXTEA

Democrats never cease to amaze. This is embarrassing for our legal system though. These democrat operative "justices" have nothing better to do than cook up these kindergarten lies for political gain?

nels

should be a mandatory retirement age this guy was getting flaky when he was in the state senate. this aggression could be signs of dementia it often is in the elderly. and to think he was just re-elected makes a sad situation for the court

lookout

They can judge others, but can't or refuse to judge themselves. This court isn't fit too judge anyone after all this. Every single one of them shouldn't be a judge any longer since they don't want to do their jobs.

Napoleon
Napoleon

Is Prosser a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Gang? Just curious...

Dr Abulia

I'm not sure, but I think possibly the CC (Capitol City) Riders.

Dr Abulia

No disrespect intended to the CC Riders

Buggs Raplin

Good one, Nappy

Vicky

Prosser and Gableman are an embarrassment to Wisconsin and the state Supreme Court.

David Lee
David Lee

All the court is an embarrassment to the state. They witnessed a crime and are to cowardly to stand and testify. They earned the respect they have, none.

citygirl

what a bunch of sniveling ego tripping babies

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