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Help On The Way For County D-A's

Pixabay.com iamyesarun

STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -- The state of Wisconsin will be getting an influx of new Assistant District Attorney positions to help clear a backlog of court cases.

Governor Tony Evers and Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan toured the state on Tuesday to announce that funding for over 64 FTE's would be distributed to 56 of the state's 72 counties.

Brennan says the added jobs will create better efficiency, especially in areas where hundreds of cases sit backlogged due to low staffing. "When there's a backlog, it's not good for the people who perpetrated the crime and their need for speedy due process. It's not good for the victims, and it's not good for the system."

The decision to allocated the 64.95 Full-Time Equivalent, or FTE positions, was made based on current case backlog and consideration for things such as specialty courts for OWI cases or Veteran's cases. "There needs to be more time with some of those more creative solutions. So it stands to reason that with more people committed to that, there will be more opportunities to be innovative in the way we attack those problems."

Brennan made the announcement from the Portage County courthouse, flanked by District Attorneys for both Portage and Wood Counties who will bot get two additional ADA's through the funding. Marathon County will receive 1 additional ADA. Additionally, grant funding for 2.5 ADA positions that were previously approved will be transitioned to regular funding, giving the county an additional 3.5 permanent positions.

Lincoln and Langlade Counties stand to gain one additional position. Shawano and Menominee Counties will share one additional position, giving them a total of four. Numerous Republicans in Madison including Pat Snyder of Schofield and John Nygren of Marinette released statements saying the funding was more proof that Governor Evers cares more about Madison and Milwaukee than other rural areas of the state. Brennan responded by saying only in the world of Madison politics can the addition of positions in some counties be considered a loss. "If we are going to have state-wide solutions when it comes to corrections reforms, we are going to include the whole state. Innovative solutions will not just come from urban areas, and they're not just going to come from rural areas," he said. Some counties have already begun advertising the positions with the intent to hire as soon as possible.

Brennan says the funding for the jobs is technically slated to start October 16th, and he expects that some counties will wait to hire the positions until a new crop of law school students graduates in December.

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