Mike Gableman’s campaign has now put out at least two negative pieces citing State v. Richard A. Brown (Case # 1995CF950507) in which they made false statements about the record of incumbent Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler — false statements which are a violation of Supreme Court rules.
Quoting the DA letter:
“Butler provided the deciding vote to overturn a sexual predator finding by the circuit court resulting in the release of the defendant into Milwaukee County.”
Quoting the Farrow letter:
“Louis Butler provided the deciding vote to overturn a sexual predator decision by a circuit court, resulting in the release of the predator into Milwaukee County (State v. Brown)”
The fact is: Richard Brown was not “released” into Milwaukee County after the decision. Brown has remained incarcerated and is at the Sand Ridge facility in Juneau County for sexual offenders, in full state custody and is absolutely not on the street ‘ the opposite of what Gableman’s campaign claims. Michael Gableman only had to look at the sex offender website to discover this fact. Again, Brown was never released into Milwaukee County.
Gableman’s campaign was confronted with this issue in the Wisconsin State Journal. The article confirmed Brown was not released, despite the Gableman campaign’s claim.
However, Brown never was released and remains at the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, according to Department of Corrections records. Because of privacy regulations, Department of Corrections spokesman John Dipko said he cannot confirm that Brown is at Sand Ridge receiving treatment, but he said Brown ‘s address on the state ‘s Sex Offender Registry, which is the same as Sand Ridge ‘s, hasn ‘t change since 2001.
The article quoted Gableman’s campaign employee, Darrin Schmitz on the issue. Far from admitting error on the part of the campaign, Schmitz repeated the untrue allegation twice.
Gableman campaign consultant Darrin Schmitz defended the wording of the fundraising letters.
“Louis Butler voted to release sex offender Richard Brown into the community, ” Schmitz said. “The statement accurately describes the decision of Justice Butler releasing the sex offender into Milwaukee County. ”
The Judicial Code is clear that misrepresentations are a violation of the Judicial Code for judicial candidates:
60.06(3)(c): “Misrepresentations. A candidate for a judicial office shall not knowingly or with reckless disregard for the statement’s truth or falsity misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position, or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent. A candidate for judicial office should not knowingly make representations that, although true, are misleading, or knowingly make statements that are likely to confuse the public with respect to the proper role of judges and lawyers in the American adversary system.”
Gableman’s campaign has already violated the code at least twice by these misrepresentations. Will his campaign continue to be allowed to violate the code and further erode public confidence in our state’s highest court? Judicial ethics and integrity are vital and the Judicial Code exists to ensure this.
The Wisconsin Association of Justice, sent the Farrow letter to the newly-created Wisconsin Judicial Integrity Committee to review it as a possible violation 2/12/08.
Gableman has continued to violate the Judicial Code by repeating these myths. Although he was given another opportunity in a debate yesterday, Gableman opted for political spin rather than correcting his campaign’s false statements regarding the Richard Brown matter. It should go without saying, that someone aspiring to the high court should also be able to adhere to its rules.