space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Peshtigo and Suring Remain in Contention for M&O Title
* Peshtigo Experience Shines Against Wausaukee
* Area Wrestlers Advance to Sectional Competition
* Lady Bucs Finish Undefeated; Win Third Straight WCC Title
* M&O Boys Basketball - Suring/Lena Keep Title Hopes Alive

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

DA: No Added Help, No Drug Court Work

The slated Aug. 1 start of the Drug Court and TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) programs in Marinette County may not become a reality. District Attorney Allen Brey told the Peshtigo Times earlier this week that unless extra help is provided for his short-staffed office, they will be unable to take on any additional duties, and in fact must eliminate some.

Brey said he personally will continue to cooperate with the Drug Court planning team to develop the policy and procedure manual for the new service, but if the county does not provide this office with new resources to participate in the Drug Court then this office cannot participate in the Drug Court.

He said his requests for additional help have repeatedly been refused, the last time following an hour and a half meeting on Friday, June 6 with the team currently handling administrative duties for Marinette County - Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison, Finance Director Pat Kass and Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger.

County Board rules prevent department heads, even elected department heads, from going directly to the elected supervisors on their parent committees for help without first getting permission from the county administrator. Following the resignation of former Administrator Ellen Sorensen last month, County Board assigned the duties of that office to the 3-member team.

Brey said he and the other two attorneys in his office, Assistant District Attorney Kent Hoffmann and half-time Assistant District Attorney DeShea D. Morrow each provided the county with over 50 unpaid hours of overtime per week attempting to meet the needs of their office. The result in 2013 was an all time high in production, he said, but it wasn’t enough to meet the demand to service Marinette County Crime victims.

In addition to the two and a half attorneys, the DA office staff includes a four-member support staff. A legal secretary position was eliminated in 2004 and has not been replaced. Brey said the remaining staff is so busy that in addition to their own heavy work loads, he and the other two attorneys often must spend their time typing legal documents, work that could easily be done by a legal secretary, if they had one.

We’ve been doing staff work, while we need to be doing legal work! Brey declared. Adding a legal secretary would do much to ease the burden on them.

Meanwhile, the case load continues to grow.

Brey said over the years, Marinette County law enforcement has grown in size, the number of arrests has risen dramatically, and there are new crimes not even dreamed of a few years ago, such as cell phone and Internet Predator crimes. Average daily jail population has risen from 55 in the 1990s to 120 or 130 today.

With the heroin/opiate explosion, drug crimes have sky rocketed, Brey said, as have other crimes related to drug use, such as armed robbery. In the mid 1990s there was perhaps one armed robbery a year in Marinette County. Now the average is one per month. Murders happened here almost never. Recently the average has been one a year. Investigation of those types of crime requires a great deal of time, Brey added.

All of the work of the 50 law enforcement officers in Marinette County is funneled through his office, Brey said, and county administration is expecting them to handle it without additional help.

There are 137 police referrals dating back to March still waiting to be reviewed by the attorneys in this office, Brey said. Each may have a Marinette County taxpayer waiting for justice.

He told of an elderly man who reported months ago that thieves had broken into his home and stolen his guns. Officers were able to apprehend the culprits and recover the guns. The case has not yet come to court. The gentleman, victimized in his own home, has died. He never had a chance to confront the culprits and did not live to see justice done.

Marinette County crime victims are waiting too long for justice, Brey declared. I will not agree to make that wait longer by diverting services to people who choose to use illegal drugs. Crime Victims come first. Community safety comes first. The county’s feel good non criminal services are a distant second!

He said all victims deserve to see justice done quickly and all believe theirs is the most important case.

Brey also announced on Monday, June 9 that effective July 1 his office will be eliminating juvenile services except prosecution of juveniles who have committed crimes. This is the first step in reducing the criminal case backlog. Unfortunately, there may need to be additional service reductions in the future. The Crime Victims of Marinette County deserve better, Brey said, and repeated, This office will not be providing Drug Court services without additional staff.

Brey said ironically, the money that might be saved by a successful Drug Court and TAD program would easily pay for the help his office needs to help implement the program, and eventually result in far greater savings for county taxpayers. He feels making Morrow’s job full time instead of half time and adding a full time legal secretary would resolve most of their problems. He estimates cost, with benefits, would be about $50,000 for the remainder of this year, and less than $100,000 for a full year.

Brey explained the Drug Court/TAD Planning Team set the perameters for the new program. Law enforcement presents cases to the DA’s office. The DA will take the case to comment on it, and decide whether it should go through Drug Court or the regular court system. It’s his choice, with input from the TAD coordinator, Brey said. If the choice is to offer the Drug Court option he would suggest it to the defense attorney, who in turn would discuss it with his client. The client would then decide whether or not to participate, and if the decision is yes, the case would go to the TAD Coordinator in the Department of Health and Services for TAD recommendations, and the next step would be Drug Court. The idea is quick turnover, extremely close supervision, a treatment plan, and hopefully end with an offender freed of a drug addiction and once again a contributing member of society.

Drug Court is aimed at reducing the number of days spent in jail and reducing the number of times that persons convicted of drug related crimes reoffend and end up back in the system.

Currently a drug-related prisoner spends 160 to 180 days in jail from the date of arrest until either out of jail or sent on to prison. Records show that currently 100 percent of prisoners sentenced for drug related crimes offend again and come back for future jail stays.

With Drug Court the goal is swift action, followed by release with some stringent restrictions that hopefully will break the drug use/crime pattern.

The Drug Court plan calls for no more than 30 to 45 days in jail from the date of arrest until release. That’s a savings of at least 115 days per prisoner, at an average cost of about $75 or more per prisoner per day. That’s a savings of $8,625 each, or $86,250 if only 10 prisoners were handled through Drug Court for the remainder of the year. Once the program is fully implemented the annual savings should be far, far greater. It is even possible the county could avoid the need to build a $9 million additional pod for the jail, which is currently in the 5-year capital improvement plan as the existing jail is at or near capacity most of the time.

But, Brey said, without some added help his office cannot do its part of the Drug Court process. He said he asked the county early in the Drug Court planning process to include funding for the DA’s office in its grant request. The county chose not to. Why, I don’t know, he said, adding they had no problem asking for funding for the rest of the program.

In October of 2013 the county applied for $285,349 to finance the TAD program and the Drug Court that makes it work.

Early this year the state awarded a $124,502 state grant to help cover TAD expenses. The county match of $94,183 will come from existing program funds and savings. Judge Jim Morrison was successful in getting federal Drug Court training at no cost to the county. Robin Elsner, head of the county’s Health and Human Services Department, was assigned to set up the TAD program.

Meanwhile, Brey was still struggling with ways to stretch his staff to do the additional work. He met on Friday with Mattison, Kass and Holtger, but to no avail.

He said they advised him that the county will not provide his office with the resources it needs to participate in the Drug Court service, and suggested that he should endeavor to persevere, he declared. He repeated that his office is overloaded, and without the added help it cannot be done.

This office cannot provide new services without new resources, he declared. The current office resources are inadequate and insufficient to provide the services currently requested.

He said during the meeting he and the co-administrators discussed the recently completed DA LEAN study and the action report it generated. The LEAN study had been ordered by Sorensen.

Among recommendations in that report was to investigate elimination of the DA backlog by acquiring additional attorney time to be paid by Marinette County, add some time-saving technology such as printers for each legal secretary’s desk, connect scanner/copier to all DA staff and look into a scanning wand, standardize law enforcement paper referrals, get a dictation system to eliminate transcription by legal secretary, arrange office layout more efficiently, and electronically store all old law enforcement records to electronic files for easy retrieval.

The report then suggested time saved by those efficiencies could be spent to increase available DA office attorney time.

The LEAN Production Report shows that in 2013 the DA’s office handled two homicides A&B, 320 hours; one other homicide, 80 hours; 238 felonies, 2,020.62 hours; 217 misdemeanors, 788.61 hours; 185 criminal traffic citations, 538.35 hours; 38 juvenile delinquent, 130.72 hours; 45 CHIPS cases for 270 hours and 56 CHIPS extensions for 196 hours.

The 4,344.3 hours of total production are based on a formula devised by the State of Wisconsin to measure district attorney office production. The formula provides 1,162 hours per full time attorney to perform the measured cases, with each type case assigned a number of hours to complete. The two full time and one part time attorneys available in Brey’s office had a total of 2,905 hours available to work, but the case load required 4,344.3 hours, which means that 1,439.3 of those case load hours were unpaid. Stated another way, the two and one half attorneys in the office provided the county more than 50 hours of unpaid work per week, Brey said.

He said he pointed out to the co-administrators that the study recommended more attorney time and recognized the work load on legal secretaries, but nevertheless they refused his request for extra help, particularly since he was being expected to take on the additional Drug Court work.

Last Friday the County’s Co-Administrators told me they will provide no new staff resources for the DA’s office, Brey said. They asked that the DA’s office continue to provide all the existing services. They also asked that the DA’s office provide service to the new Drug Court.

I have repeatedly asked the county to restore the staff position that they eliminated Brey said. Those requests have been denied as not justified. The county’s own study of the office recommends adding more staff. In light of the county’s own study, the county’s denial of the request for more staff sure is a head scratcher, Brey declared.

He said he has also repeatedly asked the state for more attorneys, and state records show they need one and a quarter more attorneys for the work they are producing, but those requests have been denied. He noted Oconto County this year did get additional attorney help from the state.

In a letter to the co-administrators dated Wednesday, June 11, Brey reminded them they discussed the 2013 production report for his office, which showed that production at an all time record. The attorneys worked unpaid overtime more than 50 hours per week to achieve that result. The unpaid overtime includes performing county staff work. The office produced as if one and one quarter more lawyers were working here.

He reminded them they asked what other counties are doing, and said to get the job done Brown County now provides two more lawyers and support staff to their District Attorney’s office. When he requested that from Marinette County he was denied and told the requests were not justified, he wrote.

I asked for your recommendations for eliminating unpaid work. You had none....You recommended that the office continue to provide unpaid work to the County by participating in the Drug Court. Cuts have consequences. So does the failure to provide new resources for new services, he went on.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, Brey declared. Perhaps the county could ask the road builders on the County Highway BB project to donate more than 50 hours of work per week at no cost to the county. If the road builders agree, that might free up some money for more DA staff to service the taxpaying Crime Victims of Marinette County, Brey suggested in the letter.

Brey said neither the county nor the state has a severe shortage of money. The county has $70 million in reserve funds, and the state has a surplus, in this election year the state is giving about $14 a head to each taxpayer. I hope they enjoy the money and spend it wisely. I also hope that they are not crime victims!

Without new staff the only way for the DA’s office to provide service to the new Drug Court would be to divert current staff work to the Drug Court. That would make the crime victims wait even longer, Brey declared. I told the county’s co-administrators ‘NO’. I told them there will be no new DA Office services without new staff resources.’

He said when it comes to his office, crime victims and community safety come first.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
02-15-2017Front Page
Organize Citizens Building Committee for School Options

02-15-2017Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Has Feb. 21 Primaries for Chair, Supervisor

02-15-2017Front Page
Two Week Trial For Menominee Murder Suspect Is Underway

02-15-2017Front Page
Wausaukee Rescue Squad Has Annual Meeting Feb. 12

02-15-2017Front Page
Primaries Feb. 21 For State School Superintendent, Peshtigo Town Offices

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
CCBA To Meet at Barnstormers

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Accepts Open Enrollment

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman K.C. Plans March 3rd Fish Fry

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
Youth Baseball Signup Dates

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam Feb. 17

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Eligible For T.R.I.D, T.R.I.P In 2018

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Board Approves Rescue Squad Contracts

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Clip-Clop Trail Riders Receive $4100 Donation

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Lions Bowling Tourney Mar. 11, 18

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Winners in Silver Cliff Card Party

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Youth Rally at Wausaukee Feb. 28

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Guest Speakers at Presbyterian Churches

02-15-2017Obituaries
Raymond Younger

02-15-2017Obituaries
William J. Wazniak 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Gordon VanLaanen

02-15-2017Obituaries
Willard S. Paugh, Jr.

02-15-2017Obituaries
Dennis L. Nicklaus

02-15-2017Obituaries
Shelby J. Mcbride

02-15-2017Obituaries
Eleanor LaLiberte 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lon M. LeFebre

02-15-2017Obituaries
Ella Just

02-15-2017Obituaries
May A. (Bates) Jandt

02-15-2017Obituaries
Richard Gibbs 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Warren J. Faust 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Betty Lou Erdman

02-15-2017Obituaries
Robert J. Dyer

02-15-2017Obituaries
H. Bielinski Sr.

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lodavine I. Thorne

02-15-2017Obituaries
Thomas A. Rost

02-15-2017Obituaries
Marcia J. Ottmar

02-15-2017Obituaries
Robert E. Mays

02-15-2017Obituaries
James Mastejko

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lorraine V. Marrs

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lavina M. Hofer

02-15-2017Obituaries
Gregory F. Gritt

02-15-2017Obituaries
Jeffrey M. Forgette

02-15-2017Obituaries
Guy Jordan Erb, Jr.

02-15-2017Obituaries
Clarence E. Engel

02-15-2017Obituaries
Scott A. Baumler

02-15-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-15-2017Perspectives
From our readers

02-15-2017Perspectives
From My Window

02-15-2017Sports
Peshtigo and Suring Remain in Contention for M&O Title

02-15-2017Sports
Peshtigo Experience Shines Against Wausaukee

02-15-2017Sports
Area Wrestlers Advance to Sectional Competition

02-15-2017Sports
Lady Bucs Finish Undefeated; Win Third Straight WCC Title

02-08-2017Obituaries
Peter R. Zimmer

02-08-2017Obituaries
Clutch Zeske 

02-08-2017Obituaries
David W. Wickstrom

02-08-2017Obituaries
Marilyn S. VanBeek

02-08-2017Obituaries
Virgil C. Thomson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Mary L. Olson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Joseph M. Massie

02-08-2017Obituaries
Terry J. Nelson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Carmelita S. Lloyd

02-08-2017Obituaries
Alfred C. Lindstrom, Jr.

02-08-2017Obituaries
Robert Leafe

02-08-2017Obituaries
Shirley A. Konop

02-08-2017Obituaries
Marie J. Konell

02-08-2017Obituaries
Leslie L. Kehl

02-08-2017Obituaries
Bernard L. Jashinsky

02-08-2017Obituaries
Father Norman A. Clisch

02-08-2017Obituaries
Andre M. Christenson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Sister Jacqueline Capelle, OSF

02-08-2017Obituaries
Beatrice Bushey

02-08-2017Obituaries
Helen Stec

02-08-2017Obituaries
Gustav J. Schenkoske

02-08-2017Obituaries
Ivan W. Lusardi, Sr

02-08-2017Obituaries
Ronald J. Laundree

02-08-2017Obituaries
Rudolph J. Kristoff

02-08-2017Obituaries
Gaylord H. King

02-08-2017Obituaries
Tracy J. Heinz

02-08-2017Obituaries
George W. Felch

02-08-2017Obituaries
Joseph DeGroot

02-08-2017Obituaries
Duane Braham

02-08-2017Obituaries
Blanche B. Bolen

02-08-2017Obituaries
Leona Berg

02-08-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-08-2017Obituaries
Lillian M. Belongia

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Sweet Sale for Wausaukee Church

02-08-2017Perspectives
From our readers

02-08-2017Perspectives
From My Window

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Wine, Beer Tasting Event

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions Bowl Tourney

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Collect 56 Units in Blood Drive

02-08-2017Sports
M&O Boys Basketball - Suring/Lena Keep Title Hopes Alive

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Area Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
Parkinson Meeting at Menominee on Feb. 16

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
State Park Plans Candlelight Hike

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
High Falls Fish-O-Rama, Radar Run, and Winterfest

02-08-2017Sports
M&O Girls Basketball - Peshtigo Maintains Lead Going Into Final Stretch

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
Local Winners in Free Throw Contest

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman KC Free Throw Contest

02-08-2017Sports
Area Grapplers Start Post-Season Tournaments

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
Living Waters Church Holds Annual Meeting

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
CCBA Meet February 16

02-08-2017Front Page
RECEIVE DEFIBRILLATOR

02-08-2017Sports
Marinette Girls Bowling Team Heads To State, Boys Qualify 2

02-08-2017Front Page
Council Takes No Action On Property Detachment

02-08-2017Front Page
Hope Menekaunee Harbor Can Be Done For Walleye Tournament

02-08-2017Front Page
Coleman Board Declines Reduced Speed Petition

02-08-2017Front Page
Rep. Gallagher Feels Urgency During First Month In Office

02-01-2017Front Page
Fire Destroys Home In Town of Peshtigo

02-01-2017Front Page
Vilas Schroeder Elected County Board Vice Chair

02-01-2017Front Page
Oconto County LEC Still On Budget, Nearly On Schedule

02-01-2017Front Page
Sign Dog Park Lease With Possible Construction In Spring

02-01-2017Front Page
Marinette Forms City Tourism Commission

02-01-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Feb. 6

02-01-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Students Reach 50 Million Words Reading

02-01-2017Community - Coleman
Beaver Church Food Drive

02-01-2017Community - Coleman
Revival Tribute Band At Equity Feb. 17-18

02-01-2017Community - Crivitz
Benefit Craft Show For Rescue Squad

02-01-2017Community - Crivitz
Valentine Dance at Crivitz Feb. 11

02-01-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Unity Dinner

02-01-2017Community - Crivitz
11 at Monday Card Club

02-01-2017Community - Wausaukee
Presbyterian Churches List Guest Speakers

02-01-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Goal on Feb. 6 is 50 Units

02-01-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Open Enrollment Starts

02-01-2017Community - Wausaukee
Winners at Silver Cliff Card Party

02-01-2017Obituaries
Oliver P. Shallow

02-01-2017Obituaries
Russell J. Seguin, Jr.

02-01-2017Obituaries
Emma F. Schramm

02-01-2017Obituaries
Lloyd E. Perry

02-01-2017Obituaries
Rev. Fr. Edward S. Nowakowski

02-01-2017Obituaries
Emory R. Niven

02-01-2017Obituaries
Curtis P. Lentz

02-01-2017Obituaries
Cassandra L. Larmay

02-01-2017Obituaries
Ricki L. Geller

02-01-2017Obituaries
Nancy J. French

02-01-2017Obituaries
Louis J. Deldin

02-01-2017Obituaries
Edna A. Baker

02-01-2017Obituaries
Rose Marie Watson

02-01-2017Obituaries
John A. Long

02-01-2017Obituaries
Lorraine Lipinski

02-01-2017Obituaries
Dale G. Krause

02-01-2017Obituaries
Michael A. Hryshkanych

02-01-2017Obituaries
Robert C. Herman

02-01-2017Obituaries
Corey A. Heim

02-01-2017Obituaries
Larry G. Deau

02-01-2017Obituaries
Jeffrey L. Clark

02-01-2017Obituaries
Elizabeth Allen

02-01-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-01-2017Perspectives
From our readers

02-01-2017Perspectives
From My Window

02-01-2017Sports
M&O BOYS BASKETBALL - Bulldogs Collar Wildcats for First Place in M&O


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do You Support President Trumps Executive Order on Immigration?
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
© 2000-2017
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites