Raise drives justices to slash funding for advisory council

(The Associated Press) The Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided to quit funding a council that helps justices revise legal procedures across the state after the council's attorney got a $22,000-plus raise.

According to court communications, the Judicial Council's executive committee voted in June to promote its attorney, April Southwick, to executive director and bump her salary from $59,600 to $82,326.

The council is funded out of the Supreme Court's budget. The court sent the Department of Administration a letter last week saying the raise was out of line and the justices decided 5-2 to stop funding the council completely. Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley dissented, calling the decision "ill-advised."

Council Chairman Tom Bertz didn't immediately return a voicemail. Southwick didn't return email and voicemail messages.

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