MADISON, Wis. — Based on her comments in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Rebecca Bradley, appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Gov. Scott Walker in September, violated the state’s open record laws by providing falsified calendars to One Wisconsin Now in response to a request for her work calendar. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the organization is consulting with legal counsel about potential action against Walker’s thrice-appointed judge.
“After repeated delays, Rebecca Bradley wrote us that she had fulfilled our simple open records request for her taxpayer-financed calendar,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Now it turns out the years of blank pages she gave and charged us at an exorbitant rate to retrieve were a complete fraud and fabrication.”
In September, One Wisconsin Now requested Bradley’s calendar. Only after being contacted by the media regarding the delay in release, did Bradley finally produce a calendar to One Wisconsin Now. The calendar included just a handful of meetings over the course of nearly three years. When Bradley was contacted by a reporter about the anemic calendar, Bradley suddenly claimed she didn’t have access to her previous judicial calendars.
In its communications to Bradley, One Wisconsin Now’s research director explicitly requested “If you are no longer the custodian for these records, please advise as to who is the current custodian so that I may forward my request to them.” Bradley not only failed to do that, she “deceptively, dishonestly and in violation of laws understood by first year law students” provided One Wisconsin Now with a response letter and dozens of falsified calendars — which she charged for the printing and retrieval of using an hourly rate at the equivalent of a near-$140,000 salary.
“One Wisconsin Now has already contact legal counsel and we are exploring our options to address Justice Bradley’s clear attempt to hide her activities from the public,” Ross said. “How can we trust Rebecca Bradley to fairly apply the law to those appearing before the state’s highest court when she won’t even follow it herself?”
Bradley’s conduct mirrors the way in which Gov. Walker has acted, as he has tried to eviscerate the state’s open records law through multiple means including claiming visitors log records to his taxpayer mansion aren’t subject to the records retention laws. According to the latest public polling, Walker’s approval rate is at a dismal 38 percent.