No assault charges to be filed against Wis. SC justice

John O'Brien Aug. 25, 2011, 12:11pm


MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser will not face criminal charges over an alleged attack on a fellow justice.

Special Prosecutor Patricia Barrett announced Thursday that she won't be bringing charges against Prosser, who was alleged to have physically attacked Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in her chambers in June.

According to the Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Prosser allegedly attacked Bradley on June 13. That was the day before the state's high court released an opinion upholding Gov. Scott Walker's controversial Budget Repair Bill.

"This is and remains an issue of workplace safety," Bradley said Thursday. "My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution, but rather addressing workplace safety."

Bradley said she contacted law enforcement after the incident but only for assistance in addressing the workplace safety issue.

"I well understand the difficulty of gaining any criminal conviction," she added. "The prosecution's burden of proof is very heavy, as it should be."

"Three knowledgeable sources" told the Center that Prosser and Bradley were arguing about the ruling in front of the other justices. When Bradley asked Prosser to leave her chambers, Prosser then grabbed her neck with both hands, the sources said.

Bradley, herself, recounted the attack to the Journal Sentinel.

"The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold," she told the newspaper.

However, others told the Journal Sentinel that Bradley charged Prosser and that the justice put up his hands to defend himself, coming in contact with Bradley's neck.

Barrett also announced Thursday that Bradley would not be facing any criminal charges.

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