On and on it goes.
Scott Jensen, the former and fallen speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, has again extended his more than seven-year legal fight against criminal charges of misconduct in office.
The state Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously agreed that a new trial for Jensen should be moved to his home county of Waukesha, based on a 2007 state ethics law.
Jensen, a Republican, may hope to find a friendlier district attorney and jury in the GOP stronghold of Waukesha County, which he represented for years. But that's unlikely. If anything, his own former constituents are probably more mad at Jensen's violation of public trust than voters elsewhere in the state who didn't rely on him to represent them honorably in Madison.
Moreover, a conservative-leaning jury should only be more outraged by Jensen's waste of tax dollars on private political ambitions. Jensen and other top lawmakers - Democrats and Republicans - used public money and resources to pay for their campaigns and those of favored candidates. The devious goal was to unfairly tip elections - including party primaries - in favor of hand-picked loyalists who would keep Jensen and the other leaders in power. Other top state leaders from Jensen's era have already pleaded guilty and served time behind bars.
Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, who is taking the case from Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard, worried Thursday it would overwhelm his office.
That's because all of the arguments against Jensen have already been made in Jensens's first trial. All of the witnesses have already testified to what Jensen did. And Jensen has essentially admitted to those facts.
Jensen's defense boils down to: Everybody was doing it, so let me off. But the jury in 2006 didn't buy it, convicting Jensen of three felonies and one misdemeanor.
The felony convictions were overturned on appeal because of jury instructions. Assuming Jensen wants to keep fighting the charges, a new judge will correctly read the instructions with a similar trial proceeding. And Jensen will be allowed a little more leeway during his testimony.
Even if Jensen's high-paid lawyers (he's been able to use public money and campaign contributions to help cover his elaborate defense) manage to convince a jury Jensen isn't guilty of specific charges, that won't change the facts of what Jensen did. His reputation won't be rehabilitated.
The court of public opinion issued its verdict on Jensen's broken trust years ago: Guilty.