MADISON (WKOW) -- State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser rejected calls from representatives of women's groups and others for Prosser to take leave as an accusation of workplace violence against Prosser is investigated.
"Because he has no boss, the public are his bosses. That's why I believe he should step down until the investigation is complete," former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk told WKOW 27 News at a capitol rally Tuesday.
Fellow justice, Ann Walsh-Bradley has stated Prosser placed her in a choke hold after the two argued in front of other justices June 13, the day before the high court upheld Governor Walker's collective bargaining limits.
Prosser's alleged actions are under investigation by Dane County sheriff's detectives.
At the rally, demonstrators held signs reading, "Prosser please don't strangle my rights," and similar slogans.
"In any work place that I have ever been in, if someone is accused of such a serious accusation, putting a fellow co-worker into a choke hold, they would expect to be on leave immediately," National abortion rights league representative and Madison alder person Lisa Subeck said.
Spokesperson for Prosser Brian Schimming said Prosser would not take leave, and said other work place settings and standards were "not comparable" to the work setting of the state supreme court. Schimming said Prosser, Walsh-Bradley and other justices have been working together without any issues since the June incident.
A source with ties to Prosser said Prosser's contact with Walsh-Bradley was in self defense, as Walsh-Bradley charged at him. Four of the other five justices were witnesses to the confrontation. The source said Prosser has been interviewed by detectives.
Sheriff's spokesperson Elise Schaffer said the investigation is nearly complete, but declined to identify a timetable for investigative reports to go to Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne.
Prosser and the rest of a court majority recently rejected Ozanne's attempt to stop Governor Walker's collective bargaining limits.
Falk said Ozanne had no conflict-of-interest as a result of his recent case and could still impartially assess Prosser's actions and consider whether to issue criminal charges.
The state judicial commission is also investigating whether the actions of Prosser or any other justice in the incident amounted to a breach of a judicial code of conduct and ethics.
Prosser previously acknowledged he called chief justice Shirley Abrahamson "a total bitch" during a closed-door court discussion, but said he was goaded into the intemperate comment.
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