The Corner

Prosser Cleared in ‘Chokegate’

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, accused in June of choking a female colleague after a verbal altercation, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett. Barrett was appointed as a special prosecutor in the matter earlier this month.

In June, a sensational story about Prosser “choking” Justice Ann Walsh Bradley appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, courtesy of the George Soros-funded Center for Investigative Journalism. National Review Online was the first to publish a full account of the events of June 13, which contradicted much of Bradley’s account. According to multiple sources who were actually there, Bradley charged at Prosser, fists raised, as if she were attempting to provoke a physical confrontation. Prosser then put his hands up to push Bradley away, making contact with her neck before Justice Patience Roggensack pulled Bradley off Prosser.

The investigation proceeded for two months before today’s decision to fully exonerate Prosser. Coincidentally, the decision not to press charges occurred only after recall elections against Republican state senators failed to give Democrats control of the state senate two weeks ago.

Today, Prosser released this following statement:

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley made the decision to sensationalize an incident that occurred at the Supreme Court. This matter has now been reviewed by Dane County Sheriff’s Department detectives, the Dane County District Attorney and an appointed independent special prosecutor. Today, the investigation of the incident has been completed.

I was confident the truth would come out — and it did. I am gratified that the prosecutor founds these scurrilous charges were without merit.

I have always maintained that once the facts of this incident were examined I would be cleared. I look forward to the details of this investigation becoming public record.

Being in public service has been the honor of my life. I cannot express enough thanks for the hundreds of good wishes I’ve received from people across the state in the last several weeks.

Prosser, 69, defeated liberal challenger Joanne Kloppenburg in a much-publicized Supreme Court race in April. He will not face reelection until 2021.

— Christian Schneider is a senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

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