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Evers Announces New Prosecutor Positions in Northwestern Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has announced over 60 new assistant district attorney positions throughout Wisconsin, including increases in several northwestern Wisconsin counties.  Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has announced over 60 new assistant district attorney positions throughout Wisconsin, including increases in several northwestern Wisconsin counties.  |  Photo: State of Wisconsin

Ryan Juntti
Updated: September 17, 2019 06:49 PM

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has announced over 60 new assistant district attorney positions throughout Wisconsin, including increases in several northwestern Wisconsin counties. 

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In northwestern Wisconsin, there will be a net increase of around seven prosecutor positions being added, Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan announced in a news conference on Tuesday.

Brennan joined Ashland County District Attorney David Meany, Bayfield County District Attorney Kimberly Lawton, Burnett County District Attorney Joseph Schieffer, and Douglas County District Attorney Mark Fruehauf for the formal announcement at the Douglas County Government Center in Superior.  

Fruehauf says there has been a shortage of prosecutors across the state for years, and a push to get more prosecutors for at least a decade. He says by adding more prosecutors in Douglas County, they will be able to explore alternative options to jail for less serous offenders, but also that it will help him prosecute the serious cases more thoroughly.

"It's going to really help me better balance the case loads, so we can dedicate more time and attention to the cases that we do have, focus more time on the serious cases that need attention," said Fruehauf.

Lawton says her intention is to now strengthen Bayfield County's diversion programs. This means that young and less serious offenders would be rehabilitated instead of go to jail. She also adds that by allowing more prosecutors it will allow for more serious cases to be prosecuted more thoroughly.

"I think that it's going to be across the board, it's going to be an improvement for everybody who comes into contact with criminal justice," said Lawton.

Officials hope to begin the process of opening the positions within the next several weeks. 

A news release from Evers' office says this is the largest state investment in the district attorney program in the state's history and the first new full-time GPR (General Purpose Revenue)-funded positions created for the program by the state in more than 10 years.  

"For far too long our county district attorney offices have been doing more with less," Evers said in the release. "This historic investment will enable our county officials to improve victims services, enhance diversion and treatment options for those struggling with substance use disorders, and address backlogs that are standing in the way of justice," he continued.

The positions were allocated throughout the state based on requests made by the county district attorneys, with 56 Wisconsin counties receiving a total of 64.95 new positions, the news release says.

Assistant district attorney positions in northwestern Wisconsin counties

  • Ashland: 0.6 increase, bringing total to 2.0 positions
  • Bayfield: 0.7 increase, bringing  total to 1.7 positions
  • Burnett: 0.75 increase, bringing total to 2.0 positions
  • Douglas: 1.5 increase, bringing total to 5.0 positions
  • Iron: No increase, maintaining 1.0 total positions
  • Sawyer: 1.0 increase, bringing total to 3.0 positions
  • Washburn: 0.75 increase, bringing total to 2.0 positions

Credits

Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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