Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer, the liberal candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, says she supports an independent and impartial judiciary, but she sat in judgement on cases concerning clients of her husband’s cleaning business.
WISN-AM radio personality Dan O’Donnell reported Monday that an analysis of Neubauer’s statements of economic interest shows the judge hearing 101 cases involving her husband’s former business clients. O’Donnell reported:
In 73 cases, Judge Neubauer sat on a case involving a public sector client (such as a municipality like the City of Kenosha or an executive department of state government such as the Department of Veterans Affairs). In 28 cases, she sat on cases involving private sector clients including Associated Bank, Froedtert Hospital, Abbot Labs, Walgreen Co., and Best Buy.
In 79 of those 101 total cases, Neubauer joined the majority in ruling in favor of a Kranz client. In 31 of those rulings, Neubauer herself wrote the majority opinion.
O’Donnell wrote that it was unclear whether Neubauer’s husband Jeffrey Neubauer had an “economic interest” in the cases because the judge stopped disclosing her husband’s clients from 2010 until the business was sold in 2017. The clients in question were on the judge’s 2009 financial disclosure statement.
“The Neubauer family has a thirty-year track record of playing politics to gain influence, even leaving the public in the dark regarding countless potential conflicts of interest,” Hagedorn campaign manager Stephan Thompson told O’Donnell. “Wisconsin deserves a Justice who they can hold to the highest ethical standard, and it’s clear the only choice is Brian Hagedorn.”
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler was sharply criticized by liberals in 2007 during her first campaign for the Supreme Court for hearing cases as a circuit court judge involving the bank where her husband was an employee and 22 cases involving companies in which she owned stock.
O’Donnell reported that Neubauer did not reply to inquiries seeking comment on her potential conflicts of interest. Neubauer is facing Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn in the April 2 election to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson.