MADISON — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patrick Crooks has died in the state Capitol.
Chief Justice Patience Roggensack announced the death of the 77-year-old Crooks on Monday, September 21st. Roggensack said Crooks died in his chambers.
The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office says Crooks’ death was natural in manner.
Crooks announced last week that he wouldn’t run for a third 10-year term on the high court and instead planned to retire when his current term ended in July.
Gov. Scott Walker has the power to appoint someone to fill Crooks’ seat ahead of the election. Walker’s spokeswoman said Monday the governor would decide what to do at a more appropriate time.
State officials and others issued statements on the passing of Justice Crooks. They are below.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler
“Justice Crooks was not only a dedicated public servant with a keen legal mind, but also a colleague with whom I enjoyed a unique professional relationship. While we will all remember him for his legal prowess, I will miss his quick wit and sense of humor. Serving with him was an honor and a privilege.”
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D – Kenosha)
“The loss of Justice Crooks is a loss for the entire state. My heart goes out to his family at this time.”
State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R – New Berlin)
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Justice Crooks, who served the citizens of Wisconsin with great passion and integrity,” Sanfelippo said. “He will be greatly missed.”
Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg
“I am shocked and saddened at the sudden passing of Justice Crooks. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. His daughter is a law clerk at the Court of Appeals and her sadness is ours. I have mentored his law clerk and I know how highly he was respected. In the words of a prayer, ‘So long as we live, they, too, shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.’ May his memory be a blessing.”
Judge Rebecca Bradley
“It is with a heavy heart that we all pray for Justice Patrick Crooks and his family and friends during this time of sadness. We will always admire his dedication to the State of Wisconsin and his service as a member of the judiciary for over 38 years.”
Judge Joe Donald, candidate for Supreme Court
“Ann & I are absolutely devastated at the news of Justice Crooks’ passing. He devoted his life to public service and to serving justice for the people of Wisconsin. He was dedicated to the law, to truth, and to justice, and this is truly a sad day for our state. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family, and pray for peace and comfort.”