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Ethics Board says Ziegler's judicial dealings are its business

The State Ethics Board disagrees that Annette Ziegler's judicial dealings are none of the board's business.

The panel asked the Supreme Court Monday to reject Ziegler's claim that only the Judicial Commission can punish her for what she did as a Washington County circuit judge.

Ziegler, who was elected to the Supreme Court last month, is accused of creating a conflict by handling five cases involving a bank in which her husband is a board member.

The ethics panel says Ziegler is making unprecedented arguments that the board does not have the authority to sanction judges.

A reserve judge is scheduled to consider the Ethics Board's charges on May 17, but the panel says it's willing to delay the proceeding if the Supreme Court matter is not settled by then.

Meanwhile, three dozen watchdogs marched at the Capitol Tuesday, demanding that legislators provide more public funding of Supreme Court campaigns to lessen the influence of special interests.

A Senate committee is scheduled to take up that subject and a couple related matters today (Tuesday).