MILWAUKEE (WRN) - The State Supreme Court will not decide if a former head of the Milwaukee police union can win a defamation suit, because most justices are too close to him. 4 of the 7 justices said they had too many ties to Brad DeBraska to rule on his case. And the state Constitution says the remaining 3 justices are not enough to hear it. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson excused herself, as did Pat Roggensack, Michael Gableman, and Annette Ziegler. So the court dropped DeBraska’s appeal. Justice David Prosser calls the outcome unfair. The union chief was challenging a state appeals court ruling which said he could not win a defamation suit against Milwaukee Magazine. It printed an article alleging that DeBraska interfered with a probe into the 2004 beating of Frank Jude by off duty police officers. The appellate court said DeBraska did not give the magazine his side of the story – and that’s required before a defamation suit can be filed.
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Seth Mela, Tom King and Chris Conley