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Panel to decide if Gableman should be punished for ad

A three-judge panel will be the next to decide whether State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman should be punished for a campaign ad he ran.

Tuesday, the state's Judicial Commission filed a complaint accusing Gableman of misrepresenting the facts in an ad shown in the final month before he was elected in April.

The ad told how Justice Louis Butler let a child molester out of prison and he offended again.

The ad didn't say that Butler was the man's public defender and the release he won for his client was later overturned.

The Judicial Commission called the ad a willful violation of the state's ethics code.

The three-judge panel will soon recommend a punishment to the Supreme Court, and the justices will end up punishing one of their own for the second time in two years.

Last year, they reprimanded Justice Annette Ziegler for ruling on cases as a circuit judge that involved a bank in which her husband was a board member.

Gableman has not commented on his new complaint. But his campaign consultant, Darrin Schmitz, said the commission improperly implied that the ad contained false statements and the First Amendment does not allow that kind of claim to be made.

Schmitz says he's confident the new charge will be dropped.