MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday reprimanded a part-time Wood County circuit court commissioner for not removing himself from hearing a case involving an attorney who was a personal friend.
The court reprimanded part-time commissioner Kenneth Gorski after agreeing with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission’s determination that Gorski had willfully violated several rules of the judicial conduct code. Gorski works about two afternoons a month as a part-time circuit court commissioner, a job he started in 2014.
The complaint stems from a small claims case that Gorski should have recused himself from because he was personal friends for more than 20 years with the attorney, the Supreme Court said. They went on four overseas vacations together between 2015 and 2018 as well as frequent overnight golfing trips, the Supreme Court said.
During the trial, Gorski lost his temper with the defendant who was opposed by his attorney friend, groaning in anger and making sarcastic comments, the Supreme Court said.
Gorski admitted to all of the allegations of misconduct, the court said.
The court said a reprimand was sufficient to impress upon Gorski not to be involved in future cases involving a good friend and to treat people before him with “patience, dignity, and courtesy.”