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Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine Wrong About Annette Ziegler

November 19, 2007

There is no shortage of reasons to be concerned about Annette Ziegler, given all the ethical and legal problems she brings with her as a member of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.  She is more than an embarrassment, she is a legal nightmare.

So it was amusing to hear that Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine, one of the three judges now reviewing the Ziegler matter, noted that her actions amounted to “a blip on the screen.”  I wonder what a judge needs to do to get Judge Fine all lathered about ethical misconduct in our state?

The bottom line is that the Supreme Court has never disciplined one of its own members, and a justice has never been on the court while under investigation.  It is not as though there was not ample evidence of her wrongdoing before her election to the Court.  The fact is she had ample funds to buy TV ads that portrayed her as an upstanding judge, which then persuaded the citizenry not to listen to the factual news accounts and editorial writers who knew otherwise.  Well, upstanding judges are not the center of a panel inquiry on what discipline needs to be administered for ethical misconduct. 

In spite of her campaign advertisements, more and more people are coming to understand that Annette Ziegler is not the type of person suited for the State Supreme Court.

The crux of the matter is that Ziegler decided cases as a Washington County judge where she had very real and clear conflicts of interest.  Her husband sat on the board of the West Bend Savings Bank while Ziegler ruled on over 45 cases relating to the bank.  Over $100,000 in settlements resulted from her actions, involving home foreclosures and seized cars and trucks.  How can Judge Fine be so blind to the obvious facts, and where they lead?

Not only is the political process unable to function properly even when a seriously flawed candidate is highlighted during an election, but the necessity of a fair and even-handed justice system is not totally understood by the public.

And it now appears even an Appeals Judge has not fully understood the ramifications of Ziegler’s actions, and the stain it has left on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

Is it time to worry about our state/country, and where it is heading?

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11 Comments
  1. anonymous permalink
    November 22, 2007 11:23 AM

    germantown_kid –

    your no conservative because a conservative would never want judges breaking the rules. What accountability do you have for judges if they don’t have to keep the rules?

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