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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 13.0° F  Fair
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Judge Foust plans to appoint special prosecutor in Wisconsin Supreme Court dispute
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Judge Bill Foust is planning to appoint special prosecutor.
Judge Bill Foust is planning to appoint special prosecutor.

Dane County Chief Judge Bill Foust said Monday he will appoint a special prosecutor to complete the investigation of the alleged June 13 incident between Supreme Court justices David Prosser and Ann Bradley Walsh but he was not sure when the appointment will be made.

Foust, who began a trial Monday morning that is scheduled to run four days, said he made several inquiries during an abbreviated work week last week after receiving the request from District Attorney Ismael Ozanne last Monday.

"I don't know if I am going to be able to make the necessary calls (this week)" because of the trial, Foust said.

Ozanne requested the special prosecutor after receiving the investigative file from the Dane County Sheriff's Office on July 28. The sheriff department's report made no recommendation on whether to charge anyone. Ozanne requested the special prosecutor because his office played a "prominent role in the litigation connected to the incident," he said in a statement announcing the request.

Walsh Bradley has alleged that Prosser used a chokehold on her in her office as the justices discussed what would be a 4-3 ruling upholding Gov. Scott Walker's legislation limiting the collective bargaining rights of state employees. Prosser claims Bradley came at him with her fists up. Prosser sided with the majority in the case while Walsh Bradley was in the minority.

Asked if he was expecting any backlash regarding an appointment, Faust dryly replied: "I don't know because I haven't made it yet."

The Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which monitors the behavior of state judges, also is investigating the incident.

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