Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Judge Ziegler: admission and admonition.

Hi folks,

Admission is good for the soul and Justice Ziegler has been exemplary, since being caught.

More is incoming, but most recently the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting:
Posted: Nov. 16, 2007

Madison - Stung by a drawn-out ethics inquiry, new state Supreme Court Justice Annette K. Ziegler has begun routinely disclosing campaign contributions she received from parties with matters pending before the court.


In a separate investigation covering some of the same cases, the Judicial Commission concluded Ziegler should be publicly reprimanded. Ziegler has agreed that punishment would be appropriate. The panel of appeals judges will make its own recommendation to the Supreme Court.

And from the Wisconsin State Journal:

Although the panel earlier asked the two sides to discuss additional cases and other ties between Ziegler and West Bend Savings Bank, those issues weren't probed Monday. Presiding Judge Ralph Adam Fine also appeared to signal he was unlikely to come down hard on Ziegler. He described her acknowledged violations as "not even a blip on the screen" compared to wrongdoing by other Wisconsin judges, including those who've been disciplined for lying to investigators and falsifying documents.

Ziegler attorney James Troupis acknowledged "a judge is assumed to know the provisions of the code and know its applicability in a given case." But he said Ziegler inadvertently violated the code when she handled cases involving West Bend Savings Bank, where her husband is on the board of directors.

Two of the three Court of Appeals judges — Fine and Charles Dykman — appeared puzzled about how Ziegler could overlook such a "bright line" rule. It requires judges to announce their conflict of interest or remove themselves from cases in which they have close ties to one of the parties.

If it's a blip, that means it still showed up on the radar. These 'mistakes' are important because they mar the appearance of being just -- something just as important for our public officials, especially our Supreme Court Justices, as actually being just.

What's next?


No comments: