space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From our readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Menominee Scores Big in 6th Grade Hoops
* Niagara, Suring Advance To Set Up Thursday Showdown
* Tyler Nault & Oconto Falls Boys Head To State
* 3 M&O Teams Fall; Gillett Left Standing
* Coleman Finishes Undefeated, On Top Of M-O

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
10-29-2014Obituaries
David A. Varklick Sr.

10-29-2014Obituaries
Joan Y. Timm

10-29-2014Obituaries
Edna C. Rusch

10-29-2014Obituaries
David J. Rosenfeldt, Sr.

10-29-2014Obituaries
Bruce D. Robinson

10-29-2014Obituaries
Audrey Rietz

10-29-2014Obituaries
Margaret Pelkey

10-29-2014Obituaries
Mabel Konell

10-29-2014Obituaries
Doris R. Hardrath

10-29-2014Obituaries
Francis D. Froze

10-29-2014Obituaries
Bernice L. Darne

10-29-2014Obituaries
Harold A. Techmeier

10-29-2014Obituaries
Neil H. Shively

10-29-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Polzin

10-29-2014Obituaries
Elden J. Outcalt

10-29-2014Obituaries
Maryann E. Longrie

10-29-2014Obituaries
Geraldine L. Lambrecht

10-29-2014Obituaries
Rusty Holman

10-29-2014Obituaries
Christian Deckert

10-29-2014Obituaries
Jacqueline M. Dashut

10-29-2014Obituaries
Ronald J. Cubalchini

10-29-2014Obituaries
Sherry S. Carviou

10-29-2014Obituaries
Helen C. Buyarski

10-29-2014Obituaries
Donald G. Bice

10-29-2014Obituaries
Ellen M. Beyer

10-29-2014Sports
Menominee Scores Big in 6th Grade Hoops

10-29-2014Sports
Niagara, Suring Advance To Set Up Thursday Showdown

10-29-2014Sports
Tyler Nault & Oconto Falls Boys Head To State

10-29-2014Sports
3 M&O Teams Fall; Gillett Left Standing

10-29-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-29-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-29-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-29-2014News
Legion To Host Trick or Treaters

10-29-2014News
Lake Fire Hosts Trick, Treaters

10-29-2014News
Blood Drive at STAA on Nov. 7

10-29-2014News
Zion Trunk or Treat Oct. 31

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
Post 66 To Meet Nov. 1

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library E Books Class Nov. 5

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
Change Date of Wausaukee Blood Drive

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
WEA Trick or Treat for Canned Goods

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Board Approves School $8.62 Mill Rate

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Retired Judge To Speak at Loomis

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Women’s Club Holiday Auction Nov. 13

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Gun, Knife Show Nov. 1

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
Senior Club To Meet at Pound

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
Village Pound Trick or Treat Oct. 31

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
CCBA at 141 Ribbon Cutting

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Nov. 3

10-29-2014Front Page
Coleman Elementary World Series Reading Night Scores “Home Run”

10-29-2014Front Page
Judiciary Denies Request for School in Industrial Park

10-29-2014Front Page
Voters To Decide Nov. 4 State, Local Referendums

10-29-2014Front Page
Town of Peshtigo To Buy Tractor/Mower, Not Truck

10-29-2014Front Page
Seven Apply For Cemetery Board

10-23-2014Obituaries
Joyce A. Zorn

10-23-2014Obituaries
Genevieve Van Iten

10-23-2014Obituaries
Susan J. Tetzlaff

10-23-2014Obituaries
Ralph J. Schoch

10-23-2014Obituaries
Francis D. Menacher

10-23-2014Obituaries
Paul R. Madary

10-23-2014Obituaries
Kyle Adam Kobrow

10-23-2014Obituaries
Frances L. Hammersley

10-23-2014Obituaries
William Fumelle

10-23-2014Obituaries
Lucille M. (Opper) Dietzen

10-23-2014Obituaries
Betty E. Bourassa

10-23-2014Obituaries
Ruth J. Bolander

10-23-2014Obituaries
Kenneth Behnke

10-23-2014Obituaries
Lenore M. Teige

10-23-2014Obituaries
Arlene Smolander

10-23-2014Obituaries
Richard R. Moore

10-23-2014Obituaries
Cecil E. Kuhnle

10-23-2014Obituaries
Mabel Konell

10-23-2014Obituaries
Rev. Ralph J. Gillis

10-23-2014Obituaries
Lorraine Fritz

10-23-2014Obituaries
George E. Belaire

10-23-2014Obituaries
Mary F. Baron

10-23-2014Sports
Coleman Finishes Undefeated, On Top Of M-O

10-23-2014Sports
Maroons Make It Six Straight Over Marines

10-23-2014Sports
Free Basketball Clinic For Boys Grades 3-6

10-23-2014Sports
Michigan Muskies Fit To Fight In Wisconsin

10-23-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-23-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-23-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-23-2014News
Lake Fire Hosts Trick, Treaters

10-23-2014News
4 Area Students Graduate UW-L

10-23-2014News
Lioness Raffles at Equity Nov. 7

10-23-2014News
Karla Blohm Benefit Oct. 25

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Pembine Senior Class Craft Fair

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Remove Decorations Wausaukee Cemetery

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Acts On Budget, Pumper Truck, Old Tires

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Acts On Mobile Home Variance, ATV Route

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Thanksgiving Meal

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
FAB Event & Planning Business Opens in Crivitz

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
Dr. Nichols To Speak At Cornerstone Nov. 2

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
CBA Lists Events, Seek New Director, Secretary

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Red Arrow Snowmobile ATV Club Booyah Party

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Lena Fall Craft, Bake Sale Oct. 26

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Lena School Hires Worker, Names Delegate

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Library Open House, Renovated

10-23-2014Front Page
LCS Detroit Launch Makes Big Splash

10-23-2014Front Page
Bill Reynolds Gets Tentative Nod As County Administrator

10-23-2014Front Page
Hwy. 141 Expressway To Give DOT Access Control

10-23-2014Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Works Out “No Increase” Budget

10-23-2014Front Page
Anderson, Pazynski Chair, Vice Chair At Twin County

10-15-2014Sports
Marinette County Deer Advisory Council Second Meeting Oct. 28

10-15-2014Sports
Another Big Invite, Another Strong Bulldogs Showing

10-15-2014Sports
Season Coming To Close, Badgers Still On Top Of M-O With Perfect 14-0 Mark

10-15-2014Sports
Playoff Picture Taking Shape

10-15-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-15-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-15-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-15-2014Obituaries
Nancy L. Trepanier

10-15-2014Obituaries
Donna L. Rowley

10-15-2014Obituaries
Clarence W. Retlick

10-15-2014Obituaries
Douglas J. Payette

10-15-2014Obituaries
Beverly A. Johnson

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marie P. Holquist

10-15-2014Obituaries
John (Jack) E. Voyle

10-15-2014Obituaries
Roger C. Utke

10-15-2014Obituaries
Betty L. and Lloyd Tuma

10-15-2014Obituaries
Jackie Teteak

10-15-2014Obituaries
Anne C. Smith

10-15-2014Obituaries
Eunice C. School

10-15-2014Obituaries
Phyllis M. Rothlesberger

10-15-2014Obituaries
Gladys K. Rhoades

10-15-2014Obituaries
Emily M. O’Connor

10-15-2014Obituaries
Robert L. Ness

10-15-2014Obituaries
Eunice F. Meinert

10-15-2014Obituaries
Joseph F. McAuliffe

10-15-2014Obituaries
Betty Ann Kress

10-15-2014Obituaries
Norbert J. Jaworski

10-15-2014Obituaries
Agnes M. Hoffman

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marie A. Harris

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marilyn P. Graham

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marjorie E. Chaney

10-15-2014Obituaries
John P. Butts

10-15-2014Obituaries
Irene M. Brekke

10-15-2014Obituaries
Penny L. Berger

10-15-2014Obituaries
Wesley W. Anderson

10-15-2014Obituaries
Gene H. Albers

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library Digital on e Books

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Clerk is Institute Grad

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Plans Bake Sale

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
Big Crowd Attends Fall Fest at Wausaukee Oct. 4

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
Halloween at Assisted Living

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Kindergartners Take Part in “Flat Stanley” Project

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
Haunted Hallways, Bingo at School Oct. 30

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
MI Special Meet To Finalize Budget

10-15-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Lions List Coming Events

10-15-2014Community - Coleman
T/Pound Board Asks Plan Unit To View Lot Coverage

10-15-2014Community - Coleman
Kickers Halloween Party at Equity


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in the November 4 election?
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
© 2000-2014
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites