space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marines Suffer First Set Back
* Marines Win Mega Meet; Oconto Tops Crivitz Invite
* Area Athletes Standout at Rosholt/Suring Invites
* Peshtigo Stays Perfect to Pace Conference
* Peshtigo/Marinette Golf Teams Off To Strong Start

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Nygren Says Brey Holding Drug Court, TAD Hostage

The TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) and Drug Court programs aimed at combatting heroin and opiate abuse in Marinette County have hit a snag. District Attorney Allen Brey says he and his office staff are already far behind on their major duties, which are protecting the community and ensuring the rights of crime victims. “My department cannot and will not take on any added duties without some added help,” Brey declared. He said heroin is indeed a blight on the community and he fully supports the TAD and Drug Court programs, but needs to take care of his primary responsibilities first.

He said despite he and his attorneys working more than 50 unpaid hours each week, his department has a backlog of more than 130 police referrals for crimes going back to last March, all waiting to be processed.

In an interview last week he told the Peshtigo Times that unless the needed help is provided for his office, neither he nor his office staff will be able to do any of the added work that operating the TAD and Drug Court programs will entail. He said he personally will continue planning for the Drug Court and TAD, but repeated he and his office staff will not be doing any of the added work.

State Rep. John Nygren of Marinette expressed dismay over Brey’s announcement, and likened it to holding the anti-drug programs hostage until he gets the additional staff members that he wants for his office.

“I am very disappointed in DA Brey’s comments to the press,” Nygren said. “Instead of helping the citizens of Marinette County, he gave the ultimatum of ‘either give me what I want or I won’t help.’ What makes it all the more frustrating is we provided funding for pay progression for DAs in the budget.”

He said during the 2013-2015 state budget process the governor and legislature worked with the Association of State Prosecutors, of which Brey is a member, and asked if they sought pay progression or more staff, and they chose pay progression. “The governor and the legislature then provided funding for assistant DAs and public defenders to establish a more equitable salary progression.

Nygren said that in private conversations with him before the last budget was finalized, Brey chose the salary progression, but also said he needs more legal staff. Nygren added he had promised to work with Brey on that in the next budget cycle. Meanwhile, the current budget provided the pay progression for all counties, but allocated additional half time assistant District Attorneys for only 10 counties. That extra help went to the 10 counties shown to have the greatest need.

The state pays the salaries of District Attorneys and Assistant District Attorneys and determines the legal staffing levels based on county population. The counties provide facilities and salaries for support staff .

“We have worked hard in the Legislature and at a county level to keep an open line of communication,” Nygren said. “DA Brey was given a choice in the last budget and he chose higher salaries for him and his staff.”

“Heroin has crippled our community and the leaders of Marinette County came together and saw a need for TAD programs and a drug court. Tthis program will save money and will also fill a need to our community.”

“It is imperative to remember what is important: the members of this community and climbing out of this heroin epidemic,” Nygren concluded.

Nygren led the efforts in the state legislature to get state funding approved for the TAD and Drug Court programs as well as other anti-drug measures and has worked closely with Marinette County, which has been identified as having one of the worst heroin problems in the state.

Brey has been a supporter of the TAD and Drug Court programs, but has said from the outset that he could not do the extra work without extra help. Clerk of Courts Linda Dumke Marquardt had said the same thing, and has now been told her office will have no drug court or TAD duties. She is unsure how this will happen in regard to record keeping responsibilities.

The DA office, however, is a vital link in the programs, and will vastly add to their responsibilities, Brey said. He explained Drug Court is a post conviction program, and its effectiveness is based on getting cases settled quickly. The two vital offices to make it work are the judge and the District Attorney, but the program itself has been assigned to Health and Human Services, and the newly hired TAD coordinator works through that office.

Brey explained right now, when a complaint comes in involving a drug-related crime, he works to get a conviction and fair sentencing. Once the judge decides, his work ends.

Drug Court is post conviction, he said. “After the judge decides, I continue on with the person as long as they’re on probation or graduate from drug court, which could easily be two years or more.” He said they have to review the files every week.

“Plus, with drug court, we would accelerate the processing of those cases, because research has shown that a speedy response is vital to success,” Brey said. He added that most of the cases involve people sitting in the county jail at considerable cost to the county, and getting them out faster is a great opportunity for saving money.

Brey said he had asked to have extra help for his office included in the TAD/Drug Court grant application, but it was left out.

Lawyers in District Attorney offices are supplied and paid for by the state. The state pays and sets his salary as a Constitutional officer before the election for that term. For the assistant DAs, the state sets salaries and decides how many will be provided for any given county, based on county population. The other county elected officials are paid by the county, with wages set by the county. All judges get paid by the state, and that pay is the same regardless what county they’re in.

Each county pays the wages for secretaries, victim witness coordinator, and other help in its own District Attorney office. For some positions the state reimburses about half.

Brey said his office in Marinette County currently includes himself and one full time and one half time attorney (paid by the state), plus two legal secretaries, a crime victim/witness coordinator, and one administrative clerk (paid by the county without state reimbursement). He used to have three legal secretaries, but the county eliminated one in 2004. He said the work load is so heavy that he and the other attorneys have been doing secretarial tasks in an attempt to keep up, and have been donating over 50 hours a week in unpaid overtime.

He said a “LEAN” study done for his office a few months ago on recommendation of former County Administrator Ellen Sorensen said the county should hire another lawyer to help him, suggested new computer hardware and software that could streamline some of their tasks, but neither the attorney nor the computer improvements were provided.

Sorensen had refused his request for extra help. Following her resignation last month he had brought that request to the 3-member team appointed to temporarily head county government, and they too turned down his request. “They told me to keep doing the best I can with the help I have,” Brey said. That team includes Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison, Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger and Finance Director Pat Kass.

It was that refusal that caused Brey to make his public announcement last week that he will not be taking on Drug Court work, and will discontinue doing other non-criminal work for the county. This includes the CHIPS (Child In Need of Protective Services) program, which he said should be handled instead through family or probate court, not criminal court. He had been doing that job as a service to the county, he said.

“Effective July 1, I am directing my staff to work on criminal referrals from the police as our priority,” Brey declared. “Community protection and insuring the rights of crime victims are the primary purposes of this office. When our police referrals are reduced to a 5-business day wait to be processed, I will then process non-criminal referrals. Crime victims come first. The non-criminal matters simply have to wait.”

“I am also directing my assistant district attorneys to work only the hours they are being paid for. No one expects to work unpaid. We will do the best we can with what the legislature and county supply us as resources. If the county and legislature wish speedier service, they may supply additional resources,” Brey concluded.

What may be complicating the problem is a “Policies and Procedures” rule adopted by County Board about two years ago that prevents department heads, even elected department heads, from bringing their requests to the elected supervisors on their parent committees without prior authorization from the administrator. “If the administrator says no, you can’t even go to your committee and explain your need. You can’t get on the agenda.” He supposed he could address the committee during the five minutes allocated for public comment, but the supervisors would not be able to respond, so there could be no action and no questions and answers.

Brey said he had requested extra help in last year’s budget, but it never got to committee. He said Sorensen asked for his proposed budget and then met with him in a one-on-one closed door discussion. He said she later met with him again and told him, “Here is your budget.”

“The budget she showed me was substantially less than I asked for,” Brey said. He said he could be present at the Finance Committee meeting, but it would be with the budget that she had already approved. “I didn’t get to go talk to the Law Enforcement Committee about my budget, or my needs. It was all about the administrator, and the administrator set the budget for my office and went forward with it through the committee process,” Brey declared. “I’m not the one presenting my budget to the committees for their approval or questions or comments. That’s the administrator now. I’m not even invited. I can attend as a spectator if I want to.”

Brey felt Nygren should not have been surprised that he is not able to do the Drug Court work, and said he is very disappointed that Marinette County was not chosen for one of the state’s 10 additional half time district attorneys, “...having told him during our discussions that I could not participate in these new programs without more attorney help. It didn’t make any sense to me.” He said Oconto County got an added half time attorney, “and they do not even have a drug court, nor are they working on one.”

Brey wonders if politics entered the decision on which counties got added DA help and which did not. He said all 10 new half time positions went to counties with Republican DAs and he runs as a Democrat. Nygren is a Republican.

Brey said in the state as a whole there had been two major problems with the district attorney’s program - not enough attorneys in DA offices, and for more than 10 years, no pay progression for assistant district attorneys. “I was pleased the legislature addressed the pay progression issue. It was long overdue, and I applaud them for finally addressing this issue after so many years. I can only hope that now they will address the lack of staffing issue,” Brey declared.

“In retrospect, maybe we were foolish working for free, thinking the people we worked for would reward us with more resources,” Brey said. “In America we like to think that hard work is rewarded. Here our reward is being told to do more free work, and let us reap the reward. Those days are done. Their free lunch is over!”

He said he had given Nygren the 2013 Marinette County DA production report, “which shows we produced as if we had one and one quarter more lawyers in this office. That’s more than 50 hours of unpaid work per week. As state employees, we shouldn’t have to work unpaid. Why Rep. Nygren would think that we would add more unpaid hours to work on new unfunded programs, I don’t know,” Brey went on. “It is no surprise to him that I cannot participate in new programs without new staff. I told him that twice. Perhaps he did not believe me.”

As to his position on the Association of State Prosecutors vote for progression pay over added staff, Brey said the Association’s Board of Directors votes on issues, but general membership does not. He is not a member of its Board of Directors.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
04-28-2016Sports
Marines Suffer First Set Back

04-28-2016Sports
Marines Win Mega Meet; Oconto Tops Crivitz Invite

04-28-2016Sports
Area Athletes Standout at Rosholt/Suring Invites

04-28-2016Sports
Peshtigo Stays Perfect to Pace Conference

04-28-2016Obituaries
Marian E. Smiltneck

04-28-2016Obituaries
Lucinda L. Reinhold

04-28-2016Obituaries
John M. Quinn II

04-28-2016Obituaries
Monica A. Nackers

04-28-2016Obituaries
Richard G. Mushynski                                 

04-28-2016Obituaries
Russell P. Linsmeier

04-28-2016Obituaries
Patricia A. Klann

04-28-2016Obituaries
Josephine E. Hilton

04-28-2016Obituaries
Delores T. Groy

04-28-2016Obituaries
Clarence C. Frewerd

04-28-2016Obituaries
Kenneth E. Erdman

04-28-2016Obituaries
Gerald Cottrell

04-28-2016Obituaries
Kenneth J. Cardinal

04-28-2016Obituaries
Erna H. Brucher

04-28-2016Obituaries
Carol Brough

04-28-2016Obituaries
Mary J. Bishoff

04-28-2016Obituaries
Raymond E. Behnke

04-28-2016Obituaries
Wayne Utecht Sr

04-28-2016Obituaries
Mary R. Williams

04-28-2016Obituaries
Eileen D. Sunstrom

04-28-2016Obituaries
Eileen M. Ries

04-28-2016Obituaries
James E. Reed

04-28-2016Obituaries
Richard A. Posz

04-28-2016Obituaries
Jean E. Combes

04-28-2016Obituaries
Patrick D. Butler

04-28-2016Obituaries
Ethel Bundy

04-28-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-28-2016Perspectives
From My Window

04-28-2016Community - Wausaukee
WPS Safety Training for Emergency Responders

04-28-2016Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Offers Scholarship

04-28-2016Community - Wausaukee
T/Wausaukee Awards Bid For Blacktop, Chip Seal

04-28-2016Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Meeting May 5th

04-28-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Gun Show May 7

04-28-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Elects Slate of Officers

04-28-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Schools Regain Sparsity Aid and $175,000 for 2015-16 Year

04-28-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Pound Annual Rummage Sales May 20-21

04-28-2016Community - Coleman
Oconto County Breakfast On the Farm June 12th

04-28-2016Community - Coleman
Dairy Producer, Ag Group Meets Apr. 26

04-28-2016Community - Coleman
Equity Park Craft Fair, Flea Market on June 18

04-28-2016Front Page
State Commander, Historian Guests At Legionnaire Dinner

04-28-2016Front Page
Peshtigo OKs Kutz Road Pay, Pottratz Admits Error

04-28-2016Front Page
Janke To Replace Longsine As Oconto County Chief Deputy

04-28-2016Front Page
Investigation Complete in Death of 2 City Residents

04-28-2016Front Page
Coleman School Board To Meet On Non-Renewals

04-20-2016Front Page
Emergency Rescue Squad Gets Chest Compressor

04-20-2016Sports
Peshtigo/Marinette Golf Teams Off To Strong Start

04-20-2016Sports
Area Track & Field - Suring Girls / Peshtigo Boys Win Crivitz Multi-Meet

04-20-2016Front Page
County Board Elects Mark Anderson Chair, 17 to 12

04-20-2016Front Page
Bauer Gains Two Votes In Recount, Van Beek Still Wins

04-20-2016Front Page
Marinette County Hires New Facilities Director

04-20-2016Front Page
Peshtigo Chamber Announces 2016 Persons of the Year Award Winners

04-20-2016Sports
M&O Softball - Bulldogs Remain Undefeated, Continue Win Streak into 2016 Season

04-20-2016Sports
M&O Baseball - Crivitz Stuns Peshtigo, Coleman Gains Sole Possession of First Place

04-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Mattison Bids Farewell After 14 Years On County Board

04-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Lists Several Appointments, Resignation

04-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Offers Scholarship

04-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Meeting on US 141 Reconstruction Apr. 29

04-20-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Library Lists Programs

04-20-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Election School Cancass

04-20-2016Community - Coleman
New Earth Day Bags

04-20-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-20-2016Community - Coleman
Womans Club Lists 2 Events

04-20-2016Community - Crivitz
PO Asks Residents To Stamp Out Hunger

04-20-2016Community - Crivitz
AARP Driver Refresher Course

04-20-2016Community - Crivitz
13th Crivitz Spring Craftfest is May 7

04-20-2016Perspectives
From our readers

04-20-2016Community - Crivitz
3 Crivitz Students Advance In "Yes”

04-20-2016Perspectives
Norma Abbie Kradecki, 95, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on February 28, 2016. Norma was born 11/11/1920 in Crivitz, Wi to Ida and John Boehmke. She graduated from Crivitz High School and moved to Cudahy, WI and worked for Briggs & Stra

04-20-2016Obituaries
Norma A. Kradecki

04-20-2016Obituaries
Gene D. Zehren

04-20-2016Obituaries
Dorothy C. Winter

04-20-2016Obituaries
Judith Wiltzius

04-20-2016Obituaries
Glenn L. Sundquist

04-20-2016Obituaries
Milton H. Schwartz

04-20-2016Obituaries
David G. Schlies

04-20-2016Obituaries
Raeleen A. Rupert

04-20-2016Obituaries
Richard "Mush” Myshynski

04-20-2016Obituaries
Diana T. Monaco

04-20-2016Obituaries
Elizabeth Link

04-20-2016Obituaries
Andrew J. LaBarbera

04-20-2016Obituaries
Lawrence "Bud" Kralovetz

04-20-2016Obituaries
Patsy Kamin

04-20-2016Obituaries
Marilyn Hyser

04-20-2016Obituaries
Nancy A. Hoida

04-20-2016Obituaries
Delores T. Groy

04-20-2016Obituaries
Arnold M. DeGrand

04-20-2016Obituaries
Kathryn Chambers

04-20-2016Obituaries
Mary J. Arndt

04-20-2016Obituaries
Hildagard E. Anderson

04-20-2016Obituaries
Benjamin J. Tart Sr.

04-20-2016Obituaries
Robert Stearns, Sr.

04-20-2016Obituaries
Dale E. Sleeter

04-20-2016Obituaries
Carol F. Shafman

04-20-2016Obituaries
Cynthia L. Rocheleau

04-20-2016Obituaries
Jerome Reilley

04-20-2016Obituaries
James Porod

04-20-2016Obituaries
Bill Plautz

04-20-2016Obituaries
Dennis J. Nelson

04-20-2016Obituaries
Janet M Mushynski

04-20-2016Obituaries
Rev. Peter F. Markey

04-20-2016Obituaries
Dale Landt

04-20-2016Obituaries
Marylou Kopatz

04-20-2016Obituaries
Theresa J. Higgins

04-20-2016Obituaries
Loretta Czech

04-20-2016Obituaries
Helen P. Bugalski

04-20-2016Obituaries
Wayne Banaszak

04-20-2016Obituaries
Caroline R. Adams

04-13-2016Obituaries
Laverne C. VanderGeeten

04-13-2016Obituaries
Ellen L. Williams

04-13-2016Obituaries
Brian D. Welch, Jr.

04-13-2016Obituaries
Madeline Walter

04-13-2016Obituaries
Loralee Tessmer

04-13-2016Obituaries
Walter Sulewski Jr.

04-13-2016Obituaries
James Sherman

04-13-2016Obituaries
Joann R. Shaurette

04-13-2016Obituaries
Fae J. Seefeldt 

04-13-2016Obituaries
Donald P. Ridgley

04-13-2016Obituaries
Nicholas R. Orlando

04-13-2016Obituaries
Thomas J. Michiels

04-13-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Monthly Meeting Apr. 18

04-13-2016Obituaries
Norman A. Klitzke

04-13-2016Obituaries
William A. Diehlmann

04-13-2016Obituaries
Mavric M. Chaney

04-13-2016Obituaries
Gerald J. Schuelke

04-13-2016Obituaries
Helen M. Lange

04-13-2016Obituaries
Norma E. Johnson

04-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
SC Rescue Squad Card Party Winners

04-13-2016Obituaries
Beverly A. Hansen

04-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Offers Scholarship

04-13-2016Obituaries
Audrey S. Hanna

04-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Legion, Unit Meet April 19

04-13-2016Obituaries
Robert "Mick” M. Hanchek

04-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
Moran Appraisals at Wausaukee Library

04-13-2016Obituaries
Gladys K. Gantz

04-13-2016Obituaries
Wanda L. Fifarek

04-13-2016Obituaries
Dennis "Babe” H. Enderby

04-13-2016Obituaries
Richard W. Dielen

04-13-2016Obituaries
Wilbur L. Cook, Jr.

04-13-2016Obituaries
Warren J. Bernardy

04-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Florist Speaker at Elderly Services

04-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Craftfest at School May 7

04-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Lions Shooting, Sports Banquet June 23

04-13-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Rescue Squad Offers Sports Scholarships

04-13-2016Perspectives
From our readers

04-13-2016Perspectives
From My Window


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think Donald Trump will be our next president?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2016
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites