MADISON, Wis. — Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed Brad Schimel’s apparent attempt to use his judicial office to talk his way out of a 2021 speeding ticket. In addition to flexing his own office, Schimel even name-dropped another judge. Wisconsinites deserve a Supreme Court justice who respects the rule of law as it applies to every citizen—not Brad Schimel, who appears intent to use the law to his own benefit. 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: ‘I’m a judge in Waukesha’: Brad Schimel told cop of his judicial post during traffic stop

By: Daniel Bice

Being a judge gets you a lot of things.

Community status, cool robes, cushy hours and a sweet pension.

But here’s one thing it doesn’t get you: An exemption from driving infractions.

Somebody needs to tell that to Supreme Court candidate Brad Schimel. Schimel, a conservative, is running against liberal Dane County Circuit Judge Susan Crawford to fill a high court vacancy early next year.

Newly obtained records and dash cam video show Schimel, a former Republican attorney general who is now a Waukesha County judge, was pulled over by a member of the State Patrol for driving 78 mph in a 55-mph zone early on June 4, 2021, while heading north on state Highway 22 in Shawano County.

Asked by the state trooper where he was going, Schimel dropped the name of Outagamie County Judge Vince Biskupic, saying he was headed to his cabin, nearby in the Town of Cecil.

The trooper then asked if there was anything else she should know, such as whether he had probation issues or outstanding warrants. “No,” Schimel said initially before adding: “I’m a judge in Waukesha.”

Good to know.

The point was not lost on the cop, who wrote in her report, “Driver advised he is a judge for Waukesha Co.”

After completing a check on Schimel, the trooper returned to his white Ford F-150 pickup and told Schimel that she was lowering the ticket to going 70 mph in a 55-mph zone, noting, “That’s what I’d do for any other person, OK?”

The change knocked down the amount of Schimel’s fine from $225.70 to $175.30, a savings of $50, and reduced the points on his driving record from six points to four. He pleaded no contest and paid the fine.

Schimel did not return calls or emails about the incident.

Benjamin Garbedian, a spokesman for Schimel, said, “Brad Schimel, like many Wisconsinites, got a speeding ticket several years ago and paid the fine.” He then attacked Crawford, saying, “It’s not surprising that she and her allies will spend the campaign trying to distract voters from her record as a lawyer for leftwing special interest groups.”

Crawford’s campaign, which was unaware of the citation and the dashcam video, declined to comment.

Mike Browne, deputy director of A Better Wisconsin Together, which is backing Crawford, accused Schimel of using his public position to benefit his personal interests.

“Here he’s on dashcam video name- and title-dropping trying to get out of a speeding ticket,” Browne said. “Brad Schimel is just about Brad Schimel.”

Joe Oslund, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, chimed in as well: “Now we’ve learned that as a judge, Schimel used his office to (try to) sweet talk his way out of speeding tickets. We need a Supreme Court justice who upholds the law, not uses it as a tool to help themselves while making everyone else miserable.”

Of course, this isn’t Schimel’s first driving infraction.

When he first ran for attorney general in 2014, the GOP candidate disclosed that he had received a citation in 1990 for drunken driving after a sheriff’s deputy clocked him driving 81 mph in a 50-mph zone. His blood alcohol content measured 0.14, above the limit at the time of 0.1.

Schimel was ticketed for drunken driving and speeding. He said he pleaded guilty to the drunken driving offense and paid a fine. Records also show his license was suspended for six months.

The 59-year-old judge was 25 at the time.

The 2021 speeding ticket is not nearly as serious as his OWI. But it is worth noting that Schimel and his team declined to answer such questions as why he mentioned Biskupic by name and his own job title in speaking to the cop. Schimel was also asked by the Journal Sentinel whether he gave such information in hopes of avoiding a ticket.

According to the dashcam video, Schimel said he knew what the speed limit was but was not sure how fast he was going. Asked about his destination, he said, “Vince Biskupic’s cabin is just, would be up there.”

Biskupic, a former Republican Outagamie County district attorney, ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2002. Former GOP Gov. Scott Walkerappointed Biskupic to the Outagamie County bench in 2014.

Then the trooper asked, “Do you have any warrants, probation issues, anything like that I have to know about?” That’s when Schimel responded that he was a Waukesha County judge.

Schimel, who was a longtime Waukesha County district attorney, was elected state attorney general in 2014. Schimel, a Republican, lost reelection to Democrat Josh Kaul, and Walker then named Schimel a Waukesha County circuit judge.

The appointment came as Walker and Schimel were leaving statewide office after losing at the polls.

View Schimel citation here

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