November 1, 2014

Questions surround Supreme Court security claims

State officials who oversee Capitol Police say they have no record of providing extra security to Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Bradley claimed in a court filing this week that Capitol Police created a security plan for herself and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, in order to protect them from Justice David Prosser.

“I guess Justice Bradley may have to revise her opinion,” said Brandon Scholz, a spokesman for Justice Pat Roggensack, who’s facing reelection. “Clearly she has something in there that may not be true.”

Bradley wrote that law enforcement decided in March 2011 on a security plan for her and Abrahamson, after the two raised concerns about Prosser’s behavior. In addition to the plan, Bradley said she was given emergency contact numbers for then-Capitol Police Chief, Charles Tubbs.

The Walker administration told the Associated Press on Thursday that it had no record of a security plan being implemented for Bradley and Abrahamson. “Maybe it was a private security plan that was bestowed upon these two justices,” said Scholz. “I don’t know. I guess somebody’s going to have to look into this, and maybe Justice Bradley and the Chief Justice should provide their records for this.”

Scholz said he doesn’t think the timing of Bradley’s comments was coincidental. Bradley is a member of the court’s liberal wing, while Roggensack, who leans conservative, faces a primary challenge on Tuesday from Marquette Law School professor Ed Fallone and attorney Vince Megna.

The Supreme Court’s marshal said Thursday that several justices approached her with safety concerns in 2011 and she consulted with then-Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs about ways to enhance security. In a statement released to WisPolitics through a Supreme Court spokesman, Marshal Tina Nodolf said several justices approached her about safety concerns prior to June 13, 2011, the date of an altercation between Bradley and Prosser in a court office.

However, Capitol Police Captain Todd Kuschel said he has no record or recollection of any plans put in place to provide additional security for Bradley or Abrahamson.