Friday, September 07, 2007

Judicial Commission recommends reprimand of Ziegler

Annette Ziegler would become the first Wisconsin Supreme Court justice to be disciplined if her high court colleagues ultimately accept a recommendation to reprimand her, the head of the state Judicial Commission said Thursday.

The commission and Ziegler filed a stipulation recommending a reprimand for Ziegler's misconduct in hearing cases while on the Washington County bench involving a bank for which her husband was on the board of directors.

Judicial Commission Executive Director James Alexander said a different panel made up of three appeals court judges will now review the stipulation and make a recommendation for possible discipline to the Supreme Court. The justices will then have final say over any penalty for Ziegler, who was sworn in last month.

Alexander said no justice has ever been disciplined by the court. The Supreme Court has reprimanded many judges, suspended some and removed very few from the bench, Alexander said.

In the stipulation, Ziegler admitted to the allegations, while the commission acknowledged she did not "gain or attempt to gain a financial advantage for herself or her family. There is no indication that any case was decided incorrectly. The commission accepts her statement that such conduct was inadvertent and not intentional."

*Read the complaint:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/070906_Ziegler_Complaint.pdf
*Read the stipulation and recommendation for reprimand:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/070906_Stipulation_JR.pdf
*Read the commission's letter to Ziegler:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/090706_Ziegler_ltr.pdf

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