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Meet the candidates: Mike Fugle for Oneida County Judge


Oneida County voters will be narrowing the field for Oneida County Circuit Court Judge next Tuesday.

Yesterday you heard from Judge Mary Burns. Tomorrow you’ll hear from District Attorney Michael Schiek.

Today, WXPR’s Katie Thoresen introduces us to Oneida County Corporation Counsel Mike Fugle.

Between his time working in a private practice in Milwaukee handling civil work and some criminal work under the firm’s public defender contract to trying civil matters in front of a jury in Oneida County, current Oneida County Corporation Counsel Mike Fugle says he’s seen his fair share of good and bad judges.

He says he shares a lot of the same qualities he’s found in those good judges which has led him to run for Oneida County Circuit Court Judge.

“The attributes they had, the skills they had that made them good judges are also skills that I have. It’s one of those things of seeing something that you’d be good at so applying yourself to that and seeking to become elected,” said Fugle.

Fugle says what’s primarily important is for a judge to give a person involved in a lawsuit their due process and have an opportunity to present their case.

“And that a judge listens to it in an unbiased manner and is prepared to make a ruling that the judge perhaps doesn’t want to make,” said Fulge. “It’s very important, especially at the circuit court level to apply the facts to the law as established by the court of appeals and both the Wisconsin and the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Fugle believes the biggest challenge facing Oneida County’s justice system is drug addiction and the lack of treatment options in the area.

When he first started working in the county, Fugle says he spent a lot of time working on CHIPS or Child in Need of Protection Services cases.

Fugle says most of those cases now involve alcohol or drug addiction, usually methamphetamine.

“This is one thing been challenged, in terms of children’s families and the court, what can we do really to get treatment to be a bigger aspect of what the court system offers because if you don’t treat the underlying issues, you don’t address the underlying issue then it’s just a revolving door,” he said.

Fugle says he’d be in support of some type of drug wellness court. In particular, he’d like to see a family drug treatment court, but worries lack of treatment providers in the area will make that difficult.

“There’s a number of challenges before we get to that point. Unfortunately, we had an OWI court and due to the lack of a provider that court discontinued,” said Fugle.

In addition to his work in the courtroom, Fugle has coached football and volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club.

“I think it provides additional resources for the kids in the area and so I’m very happy to be involved with that board. Along with football, I ran the Hodag Gridiron Club for three years. We were very successful in raising money and purchasing new uniforms. Oneida County is my home. I look forward to serving the constituents, the folks of the county as Circuit Court Judge,” said Fugle.

The primary is Tuesday, February 21.

Also on the ballot is Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek whom you can hear from tomorrow on WXPR.

If you missed the interview yesterday with Judge Mary Burns, you can find it here.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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