WJC v. Hon. Scott C. Woldt


2021 WI 73 SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN CASE NO.: 2020AP1028-J COMPLETE TITLE: In the Matter of the Judicial Disciplinary Proceedings Against Scott C. Woldt: Wisconsin Judicial Commission, Complainant, v. The Honorable Scott C. Woldt, Respondent. DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST WOLDT OPINION FILED: July 13, 2021 SUBMITTED ON BRIEFS: ORAL ARGUMENT: SOURCE OF APPEAL: COURT: COUNTY: JUDGE: JUSTICES: Per Curiam. REBECCA GRASSL BRADLEY, J., concurs in part and dissents in part, in which ROGGENSACK, J., joined. NOT PARTICIPATING: ZIEGLER, C.J., and HAGGEDORN, J. ATTORNEYS: 2021 WI 73 NOTICE This opinion is subject to further editing and modification. The final version will appear in the bound volume of the official reports. No. 2020AP1028-J STATE OF WISCONSIN : IN SUPREME COURT In the Matter of the Judicial Disciplinary Proceedings Against Scott C. Woldt: Wisconsin Judicial Commission, FILED Complainant, JUL 13, 2021 v. Sheila T. Reiff Clerk of Supreme Court The Honorable Scott C. Woldt, Respondent. JUDICIAL disciplinary proceeding. Judge suspended from office. ¶1 PER CURIAM. We review, pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 757.91 (2019-20),1 a Judicial Conduct Panel's2 (the Panel) 1All subsequent references to the Wisconsin Statutes are to the 2019-20 version unless otherwise indicated. Wisconsin Stat. § 757.91 provides: The supreme court shall review the findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations under s. 757.89 and determine appropriate discipline in cases of misconduct and appropriate action in cases of permanent disability. The rules of the supreme court applicable to civil cases in the supreme court govern the review proceedings under this section. No. 2020AP1028-J findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation for discipline for the Honorable Scott C. Woldt, a judge for the Winnebago County circuit court. In a Joint Stipulation as to Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (the Joint Stipulation), Judge Woldt admitted to all of the facts in the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's (the Commission) complaint and agreed that, based on those facts, he had violated the Code of Judicial Conduct (the Code). Based on the Joint Stipulation, the Panel found that the facts alleged in the complaint were established as true and determined that those facts supported the legal conclusion that Judge Woldt had willfully violated several rules of the Code, which constituted judicial misconduct under Wis. Stat. § 757.81(4)(a).3 After receiving memoranda from the parties regarding the appropriate level of discipline, the Panel recommended that this court suspend Judge Woldt without pay for a period of not less than seven nor more than 21 days. ¶2 After carefully reviewing this matter, we adopt the Panel's findings of fact, and we agree that those facts demonstrate that Judge Woldt committed judicial misconduct. We conclude that as discipline for that misconduct, Judge Woldt 2 Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 757.87(3), Judges JoAnne F. Kloppenburg, Thomas M. Hruz, and Mark A. Seidl of the court of appeals were appointed to serve as the Judicial Conduct Panel, with Judge Kloppenburg acting as the presiding judge. 3 Wisconsin Stat. § 757.81(4)(a) states that judicial misconduct includes "[w]illful violation of a rule …

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