Former State Supreme Court Justice Vindicated By Records

Ex-Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Judge Patience Roggensack was the subject of a dismissal of an open records case after disclosing all documents about her investigation into the potential impeachment of a serving judge.

Nothing in Roggensack’s archives indicates that she advised Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on impeachment. Vos has said that he had a phone conversation with Roggensack on the potential impeachment of Justice Janet Protasiewicz, but he has declined to disclose the advice that Roggensack gave him. What Roggensack told Vos remains a mystery.

The leftist oversight organization American Oversight sought all documents about the potential impeachment by suing Vos, Prosser, Wilcox, and Roggensack. The organization further accused the three ex-justices of violating the state’s open meetings statute. Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington rejected the open meetings accusation in November. Remington said American Oversight should have given the district attorney more time to determine whether to sue before filing its claim. Ismael Ozanne, the district attorney for Dane County, chose not to press charges.

Following the production of documents, Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington had already rejected the open records accusations against Prosser and Wilcox. According to him, Roggensack was given 30 days in November to turn over whatever data she had. Roggensack said in a court filing dated December 8 that she did not possess any relevant documents except what had already been made public.

On Tuesday, Matthew Fernholz, an attorney for Vos, said that his client had submitted all relevant documents. Roughly twenty thousand pages of papers were made public by Vos in November.

Jan. 25 was the day the court set for the status hearing. Vos had already threatened impeachment for the redistricting issue unless Protasiewicz recused herself. Impeachment is reserved for “corrupt behavior in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors,” according to the Wisconsin Constitution.

The Republican Party claims that Protasiewicz has already made up her mind about the issue because of her campaign remarks in which she called the present maps “unfair” and “rigged.”