Saturday State News Briefs: Dawson to be replaced as head of state Judicial CommissionWisconsin News
-- Chairman John Dawson’s term as head of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission will come to an end August 1st. A letter was sent to Dawson yesterday saying the court had decided it didn’t want him back.
MADISON - Chairman John Dawson’s term as head of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission will come to an end August 1st. A letter was sent to Dawson yesterday saying the court had decided it didn’t want him back.
He leads the commission which is currently working to discipline Justice David Prosser. The vote was closed, but comments afterward suggest the four conservative justices voted against Dawson, while three voted for him to remain. The commission has brought complaints against three members of the conservative block on the court since 2007. Prosser has been accused of violating judicial ethics when he allegedly wrapped his hands around Justice Ann Walsh Bradley neck during a heated exchange.
After he drove his motorcycle into the back of an SUV, Green Bay police say the rider fell off while talking the officer, repeated himself and slurred his words. The 55-year old suspect has now been charged with his 11th drunken-driving offense. The accident happened Wednesday afternoon in De Pere. The man said he drank two beers over lunch, saying it was about two hours before the accident. The suspect refused to complete field sobriety tests or a preliminary breathalyzer, but did submit to a blood test at a nearby hospital. He was charged with operating while intoxicated 10 times between 1989 and 2006. He was charged with felony OWI Thursday.
Milwaukee and Madison have co-filed a lawsuit against the Walker administration, accusing it of diverting grants earmarked for local recycling efforts. Several Wisconsin cities have lost a portion of funding for their recycling programs. The money was supposed to help efforts to gain more acceptance of recycling. The Walker administration used some of the money for economic development while saying markets for recycling had improved. State officials said improvements in technology meant communities needed less funding help for those programs. The cities of Milwaukee and Madison filed the suit in Dane County Circuit Court and the secretaries of the DNR and Department of Administration. Their argument is the state officials violated the Wisconsin Constitution by taking the landfill fees which were intended to subsidize the local recycling.
A Marshfield man has been found incompetent to stand trial on charges he plotted to kill a Planned Parenthood doctor in Madison. Sixty-four year old Ralph Lang was to be tried on attempted murder charges. Lang will be turned over to the Department of Health Services to decide how he should be treated – so he can return to court and face the charges. One psychiatrist told the court Lang likely suffers from a psychotic disorder. Lang was arrest May 25th of last year after he accidentally fired a gun in his motel room in Madison. When police showed up, he told them he had planned to kill an abortion doctor. Lang faces charges both in Dane County Circuit Court and in federal court.
A website registered by their attorney alleges Chad Chritton and Melinda Drabek-Chritton are the victims of lies by the government and by their teenage daughter. The couple accused of torturing the 15 year old girl is now asking for donations to a legal defense fund. The website says they have been falsely accused. The biological mother of the teenage victim says that website makes her sick, calling it an outrage. Prosecutors allege the couple tortured and starved Heidi Pease’s daughter, forcing her live in the basement of their Madison home. The girl was found wandering the streets last February, dressed in pajamas and walking barefoot.
Marathon County deputies say a three year old boy was killed when he was run over by a skid steer loader. The accident happened yesterday in the Town of Bern. The farm equipment was being driven by the victim’s seven year old brother. A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department says the seven year old was thought to have been giving three siblings a ride in the bucket when the younger boy fell out. The victim was dead at the scene. Authorities say they are still investigating, but they don’t expect to file charges in the accident. Neighbors tell broadcast reporters five families work on that Wisconsin farm.
A former city department head has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzling more than 240 thousand dollars. Mark Beveridge will also be on extended supervision for two years when he gets out. A jury convicted Beveridge on 17 counts earlier this year, while acquitting him on eight others. He has to pay restitution to the city of Fond du Lac of up to 70 thousand dollars. Prosecutors said Beveridge gave his computer password to other workers in his information systems department so they could buy electronics and other items, like band equipment, a kangaroo outfit for a child, and a ham.