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Judges picked to serve on Accountability Candidate Committee

By Jack Zemlicka

The Wisconsin Court System’s version of the NBA lottery was held Wednesday with four Court of Appeals judges randomly selected to serve on the Government Accountability Candidate Committee.

Judge Kitty K. Brennan of District I in Milwaukee, Chief Judge Richard S. Brown of District II in Waukesha, Deputy Chief Judge Gregory A. Peterson of District III in Wausau and Judge Brian W. Blanchard of District IV in Madison were chosen to serve two-year teams.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson literally pulled names from a hat during the court’s open administrative conference meeting in the Supreme Court Hearing Room at the Capitol. As required by state law, all seven justices were present for the random drawing.

One judge from each appellate court district is required to serve on the committee, according to G.A.B. Director Kevin Kennedy.

“It is mandatory and any of the current members could have been chosen to serve again,” he said. “Judge Peterson is our only repeat.”

Peterson served on the first committee in 2007.

The candidate committee is responsible for reviewing applications by former state judges to serve as members of the Government Accountability Board and must unanimously agree on each nominee.

For each vacancy, the committee forwards at least two names to the governor for nomination to serve on the board. The appointment must be confirmed with the advice and consent of the State Senate by a two-thirds vote. Members of the G.A.B. serve staggered, six-year terms.

This spring, the candidate committee will review applications to fill the seat of Judge Gordon Myse of Appleton, whose term expires in May. Myse is not seeking another term.

The Government Accountability Board is made up of six members who are all former state judges and who must be non-partisan. The agency structure, and the process for selecting its board members, is unique.

The new candidate committee begins its two-year term on March 1. The outgoing candidate committee was comprised of Judge Ralph Adam Fine of District I, Judge Daniel P. Anderson of District II, Judge Edward R. Brunner of District III, and Judge Margaret Vergeront of District IV.

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