September 3, 2011

"I'm aware of a story involving another justice."

In light of our friend Mike Gableman's repeated claims that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley had "hit" or "struck" him on the head on September 18, 2009, let's revisit a portion of Justice David Prosser's testimony to Dane County Sheriff's Office detectives on July 8, 2011. At 1:30:28, one of the detectives begins asking Prosser whether he was aware of any earlier instances of Justice Bradley "doing something to somebody else in the past," having "had physical contact with somebody." At 1:31:25, the detective gets down to brass tacks:
Detective: Had you witnessed Justice Bradley ever charge at anybody like this in the past?

Prosser: I have never seen her charge anybody once.

Detective: Okay. Is there a reason, uh, are you aware that anything like that's happened? Before [June 13, 2011]?

Prosser: Yes.

Detective: You're aware of an incident specific with Justice Bradley ...

Prosser: Yes.

Detective: ... that she has charged other people. Anything that you've witnessed?

Prosser: Yes.

Detective: Okay. Did that just contradict what you just earlier said? Because I thought you just said you never witnessed anything. Is that correct or am I a little off on that?

Other detective: You're aware of it?

Prosser: [Sighs] I ... [chuckles]. Okay, I'm aware of a story involving another justice. I didn't see that.

Detective: Okay.
Now, recall that Mike Gableman told the detectives on July 5, 2011, that Justice Bradley had "hit" him on the back of the head on September 18, 2008 and that he, Gableman, had never told anyone about this alleged incident prior to his July 5, 2011 interview with Dane County detectives.

On August 31, 2011, reporter Dee Hall of the Wisconsin State Journal discovered that the court had not convened any meetings on September 18, 2008. On September 1, 2011, Gableman released a statement claiming that it was September 18, 2009 that Justice Bradley "struck" him on the back of the head and that all seven justices were present.

Justice Bradley, Chief Justice Abrahamson, and Justice Crooks all affirmatively denied that any such head-striking incident ever took place. On July 18, 2011, Justice Ziegler told the detectives that Gableman had "recently" told her about the alleged head-striking incident but that she had no details of the alleged incident, nor could she be specific about when Gableman told her about the alleged incident.

(Justice Ziegler did not mention the alleged head-striking incident at her first meeting with detectives, which took place on June 30, 2011.)

The obvious question presents itself: Was Justice Prosser referring to the same head-striking incident that Gableman has alleged? If so, for one thing, Justice Prosser says he wasn't there, despite Gableman's statement that all seven justices were present on September 18, 2009.

And if so, for another thing, why did Gableman tell Justice Prosser, and furthermore tell Justice Ziegler, following his meeting with detectives on July 5, 2011, after never having spoken about the incident between September 18, 2009 and July 5, 2011, as Gableman had claimed?

And what about the one remaining justice, Justice Roggensack, who Gableman alleges was also present on September 18, 2009? Did Gableman likewise inform her? Roggensack has not commented so far.

Wisely, in my humble estimation.

In short, did Gableman round up his "conservative" pals on the court to make them aware of the little incendiary device he'd dropped to the detectives on July 5, 2011, to make sure everybody had their stories straight in case the topic arose? Seems like a reasonable question to me.

Aina? Inquiring minds want to know.


gnarlytrombone said...

So Roggensack was interviewed July 1, and "said this was the first time she had witnessed things escalate amongst them to something physical. [She] said justices should not touch other justices..."

And Ziegler doesn't broach the subject in her first interview on June 30.

illusory tenant said...

Correct on both counts.

Dennis stone said...

I live in democratically controlled oregon ,and have no idea who is on my supreme court . I honestly cant come up with one name.I find it very strange and compelling that i can name every member of the the wisconsin court.When ordinary US citizens 2000 miles away can smell your dirty laundry ,thats saying something!!!I hope that wisconsin voters use every opportunity to restore dignity and respect to the high court. They deserve to not be the butt of jokes all across the country.

gnarlytrombone said...

wisconsin voters use every opportunity to restore dignity

Fat chance. We live in an asymmetry of shame. Thus far under the FitzWalker regime every stunning embarrassment - legislative leaders tanking their signature bill because they're not around to sign off on an open meetings notice, a county clerk failing to register a major municipality in the vote tally, etc. etc. etc. - has actually been embraced by the "silent majority" as a badge of honor.