Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who has been accused
by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of grabbing her neck in a chokehold during an argument over the court's decision to uphold Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation, is rejecting calls from pro-Bradley activists that he take a leave of absence while the matter is being investigated.
The ABC affiliate in La Crosse
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.
On Tuesday, liberal groups held a rally at the state Capitol
, calling for Prosser to take a leave, with speakers comparing such an action to standard procedures in cases of alleged workplace violence.
Unnamed sources supportive of Prosser have accused Bradley of initiating the violence, saying that she charged at Prosser with her fists raised, and then Prosser made contact with her neck when trying to block her.
The matter is currently under investigation by the Dane County Sheriff's Office, as well as the state Judicial Commission.
Back in March, the state of civility on the court became an issue in Prosser's re-election campaign, when it was reported that in 2010 he had called another one of the court's liberals, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, a "total bitch" and threatened to "destroy" her. When this was reported in March, Prosser seemed to simultaneously back off from and stick by the comment, blaming both Abrahamson and Bradley, the latter of whom he is now accused of assaulting:
"I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted...They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."