Judge Roger Allen, who lost his bid to hold on to the circuit court seat Gov. Scott Walker named him to, will step down early from the post Friday.
Walker appointed Allen to the Dane County Circuit Court last year. But Ellen Berz defeated Allen in the April 3 election. Her term doesn't start until August 1. However, Allen told Chief Judge William Foust in a letter that he won't finish out the term and will instead return to the Madison city attorney's office on April 30, where he worked before being named a judge.
Allen could not be reached for comment, but Foust confirmed his resignation. Foust says what happens until August 1, when Berz is slated to begin her term, is uncertain. He says there are two conflicting statutes: one says the judge-elect fills the vacancy; another says the governor can appoint someone.
"The way I read those two statutes is it's up to the governor to appoint and the only person he can appoint is Ellen Berz," Foust says. "I suppose he could elect not to appoint."
Foust says if the governor does not appoint Berz, the court would have to hire reserve judges to hear cases.
City Attorney Michael May says that Allen's position was never filled. The city had advertised for an acting position, but when Allen lost the election, it put the brakes on the process.