Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Supreme Court denies Ziegler request for original action, stay

The state Supreme Court today denied Annette Ziegler's request to take original action in her lawsuit challenging the Ethics Board complaint against her and refused her request for a temporary stay.

The court did not give any reasons for its decision in the one-page order. Justice Pat Roggensack dissented.

The Ethics Board filed a complaint against Ziegler last month seeking a $25,000 fine, charging she violated state conflict of interest codes by hearing cases in her Washington County court room involving a bank for which her husband serves as a director. The case is scheduled for a May 17 hearing in a Dane County court room.

Ziegler's attorney says he isn't sure about the next step.

"No decisions have been made as to what further steps we will take to bring up the issues that were raised before the Supreme Court," attorney Dan Hillenbrand said. "We haven't had time to figure that out yet."

Ziegler had argued that the Ethics Board didn't have the authority to discipline her, and the issue should be left up to the judicial branch. The board filed a response yesterday arguing state laws giving it the authority to discipline judges are constitutional and don't violate the separation of powers.

Ethics Board Executive Director Roth Judd says he isn't surprised. "We've expected the hearing to take May 17, and we still do," Judd said.

*See the court's one-page order:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=95378

*View the original complaint:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/070418ZieglerComplaint.pdf

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