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HomeBreaking NewsRandy Koschnick Firing: Justice Annette Ziegler Slams Liberal Majority's 'Reckless Conduct'

Randy Koschnick Firing: Justice Annette Ziegler Slams Liberal Majority’s ‘Reckless Conduct’

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The Randy Koschnick firing, which happened Wednesday, has sparked strong condemnation from the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative justices.

Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler slammed the new liberal majority’s firing of respected State Courts Director Randy Koschnick Wednesday, calling it “reckless conduct” and an “unauthorized action.”

Ziegler, the chief justice, said she wouldn’t seek to stop the firing because she worried that other court employees will be unfairly targeted and victimized by liberal justices Jill Karofsky, Janet Protasiewicz, Ann Walsh Bradley, and Rebecca Dallet.

In the statement given to Wispolitics, Ziegler called the firing an “unauthorized action,” writing:

“The unauthorized action taken today by some of my colleagues firing Director of State Courts Randy Koschnick is flawed procedurally, legally, and on its merits. As Chief Justice, I contemplated actions I might take to attempt to stop this unauthorized action, but given my colleagues’ reckless conduct, other court employees would also become victims of this unauthorized action. I say this because it would be other court employees who would suffer the consequences of choosing to follow my directive over following the demand of four justices.  And these valued employees may then be at ris of losing their jobs. Our valued employees would be put in a lose-lose situation, and I can’t risk putting the jobs of more employees of the court in jeopardy.”

Previously, the other conservative justice, Rebecca Bradley, called Koschnick’s firing a political purge and “abuse of power” that is “unprecedented and illegitimate.”

Koschnick confirmed to Wisconsin Right Now that he was fired Wednesday in a letter sent to him by Bradley on August 2, 2023. WRN obtained that letter. It says: “This letter is to inform you that your appointment to the unclassified position of Director of State Courts will be ending on August 2, 2023. You are encouraged to work with Human Resources on any benefits-related questions you have, including paying out any unused accrued annual leave hours. We appreciate the contributions you have made to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and wish you the best in your future endeavor.”

The letter does not cite a reason for Koschnick’s termination; he has been a respected courts director who recently won an innovator award from the State Bar. Koschnick, who ran as a conservative for state Supreme Court against liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson years ago, told WRN that “Justice Karofsky ordered staff to box up my personal belongings today. She refuses to wait until tomorrow. There is no dignity and no respect.”

Randy koschnick
Randy koschnick letter

Koschnick, a former Chief Judge of Waukesha, Jefferson, Washington and Ozaukee Counties, was appointed in 2017 to be State Courts Director, a non-partisan position, by the then conservative Supreme Court majority.

Thus, his unexplained firing smacks to many of political partisanship, a political purge if you will, by the state’s highest court, which is supposed to operate in an apolitical fashion.

Koschnick previously told WRN that Karofsky called him Monday, the day before Protasiewicz was sworn in cementing the new liberal majority, and told him the liberals had enough votes to fire him. He said the action did not follow typical protocol; there was no meeting scheduled, conservative justices were not even told, there was no agenda, and there was no reason given. He is out of state until Thursday, and was not given a chance to speak in his own defense.

After that report, conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley issued her own harshly worded statement condemning the liberal majority’s action, and a number of legislators praised Koschnick for his award-winning and innovative tenure.

Bradley said in full: “Political purges of court employees are beyond the pale. Four or five justices secretly voting on court matters without the court actually meeting breaches universal judicial norms. This abuse of power is unprecedented and illegitimate. It should be condemned by all judges.”

 

Jim Piwowarczykhttps://foxvalley.wisconsinrightnow.com/
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now. Married with 3 kids, a chocolate lab, and a german shepherd. Jim served as a police officer in Wisconsin for more than 20 years. His career started as a police officer in Milwaukee County in 1994 as a patrol officer, until he was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2003 where he worked until he left in 2009 to pursue business aspirations. Jim Piwowarczyk was a field training officer, evidence technician & hostage negotiator and conducted many drug investigations. Jim continued to work part-time for an area police department. Jim is avid real estate investor, and small business owner & developer. Jim has coached youth football and basketball. Jim is also an avid fisherman and hunter.
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