The Wisconsin State Journal reported Friday that Judge Rebecca Dallet violated her own recusal rule, a recusal rule that Dallet has tried to use as an issue in her campaign for Wisconsin Supreme Court. From the State Journal:
Milwaukee County Judge Rebecca Dallet has presided over at least one case involving attorneys from her husband’s law firm despite a self-imposed rule not to do so that she has touted during her campaign for Supreme Court.
Dallet this week also recused herself from three recent cases on her docket involving attorneys from the Husch Blackwell law firm after being asked about them by the Wisconsin State Journal.
While Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct does not require Dallet to recuse herself, the judge has made recusal an issue in the Supreme Court race, specifically attacking current Justice Michael Gabelman for not recusing himself in cases involving groups that had made expenditures to help his campaign. Dallet has not indicated whether she would recuse herself from cases involving interest groups that make expenditures against her possible election.
The State Journal reported on six other cases Dallet did not immediately recuse herself from involving her husband’s law firm:
In addition to the foreclosure case Dallet presided over, six other cases assigned to her involved attorneys from her husband’s law firm since 2011. Five were transferred to Dallet after another judge made a decision, dismissed without a court appearance, or the attorney withdrew from the case within a couple of months, according to public court records compiled by the Republican Party of Wisconsin and verified by the Wisconsin State Journal.
In addition, Dallet presided over cases that involved lawyers that contributed directly to her political campaign fund:
But Republicans say Dallet’s violation of her own rule, and the fact that she has presided over 102 cases involving 39 attorneys who have contributed a combined $21,100 to her Supreme Court campaign, are evidence of hypocrisy.
“This is proof Rebecca Dallet would like a special set of rules for her, and another for everyone else. While offering up lip service to voters on her recusal policy she has simultaneously built her campaign war-chest on donors who appeared before her court and flaunted the very rules she has campaigned on,” Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Alec Zimmerman said.
The attorneys’ donation amounts range between $200 to $2,500.
Earlier this week, Republicans launched a new website, “Doubletalk Dallet,” which compares her record with her rhetoric on the campaign trail.
Dallet is facing Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock in the April 3 election. The two candidates face each other in the first of two televised debates tonight at 7:00 PM.