The special prosecutor in Wisconsin determined Thursday that there will be no charges brought in the alleged physical altercation at the Wisconsin Supreme Court — in which liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused conservative Justice David Prosser of grabbing her neck in a chokehold during an argument. But that isn’t stopping Prosser and Bradley from continuing to fight in the court of public opinion.
Thursday afternoon, both Prosser and Bradley released statements reacting to the special prosecutor’s decision, which followed two months of investigation since the incident occurred in mid-June.
“Justice Ann Walsh Bradley made the decision to sensationalize an incident that occurred at the Supreme Court,” Prosser said in his statement.
He also added: “I was confident the truth would come out - and it did. I am gratified that the prosecutor founds [sic] these scurrilous charges were without merit.”
Prosser also thanked his supporters: “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.”
Bradley responded to the special prosecutor’s decision with a statement of her own, saying that she had not sought out a criminal investigation
“My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution, but rather addressing workplace safety,” Bradley wrote. “I contacted law enforcement the very night the incident happened but did not request criminal prosecution. Rather I sought law enforcement’s assistance to try to have the entire court address informally this workplace safety issue that has progressed over the years.”
However, Bradley said, her efforts to address workplace safety were rebuffed. When the matter was then referred for a formal investigation, she then cooperated fully with it. She also added:
I well understand the difficulty of gaining any criminal conviction. The prosecution’s burden of proof is very heavy, as it should be.
I also know that criminal charges alone would not have addressed our safety in the workplace and the special prosecutor’s decision not to file charges does not resolve the safety issue, either.
With the potential for prosecution now eliminated, I will renew my efforts to seek the cooperation of my colleagues on the court to resolve this progressive workplace safety issue. With the continued cooperation of others both on court staff and outside the court, I remain committed to the goal that we can achieve the safe workplace that all employees—private and public—are entitled to have under the law.