Wisconsin

Is Mahoney The Right Man For Supreme Court Investigation?

Policy

By Collin Roth

In the exceptionally strange saga unfolding over allegations that Supreme Court Justice David Prosser choked Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during an argument over the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the controversial Budget Repair Bill, it was announced on Monday afternoon that the Dane County Sheriff’s office will be the lead law enforcement agency conducting the investigation.

The Soros-funded Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism first reported the incident on Saturday June 25, claiming an anonymous source witnessed Justice Prosser put Justice Bradley in a “chokehold.” But in a concurrent story by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, two more sources claimed that it was Justice Bradley who was the aggressor and Justice Prosser was merely defending himself.

The severity of the allegations of a physical confrontation between two justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court requires an investigation by an impartial and non-partisan individual. Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney was named to lead the investigation. But a quick look at Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney’s background and public statements reveals a highly partisan past.

  • In 2008, Sheriff David Mahoney appeared in television ad endorsing Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, a well known personal and political rival of Justice David Prosser. Mahoney also gave Abrahamson’s 2008 re-election campaign $100 dollars.
  • In 2008, Sheriff Mahoney helped create a program – later determined to be illegal – to give tax payer dollars to jail inmates to subsidize their bail. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said that the Sheriff’s office overstepped its authority with the program.
  • During the Budget Repair protests that occupied the Capitol, Mahoney refused to order Dane County Sheriff Deputies to enforce an order to keep the Capitol doors shut. Mahoney explained, “I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards.
  • When touring the Capitol during the occupation by pro-labor protesters in March, Mahoney was quoted in The Nation magazine as saying “I smile everyday at what I am seeing take place in this building.
  • When asked in an April 21, interview with liberal Madison talk-show host John “Sly” Sylvester about booing of the national anthem by counter-protesters at a Tea Party rally, Mahoney said “I’m quite confident that booing the national anthem never occurred.” But of course, the booing was caught on camera which makes it hard to deny.
  • From 2004-2006, Mahoney served as President of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. As President of the state’s police union, Mahoney was quoted as saying it is a duty to “take care of those who take care of you,” and that “the job you save may be your own.” During Mahoney’s tenure as President, the WPPA endorsed Governor Jim Doyle for Governor and donated to eight Democratic campaigns and just three Republican campaigns.
  • Sheriff Mahoney was appointed to three separate commissions by Democrat Governor Jim Doyle between 2007 and 2008.

There is no question that the alleged incident involving the two Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices must be investigated. But Sheriff David Mahoney’s partisan background and public statements raise questions about his ability to lead an impartial investigation.

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