space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Second Elk Herd Released in Wisconsin
* Friends of Mike Golf Outing at Little River CC August 5
* JV Legion
* Legion Baseball
* U.P.'s Biggest Outdoors Expo, Trapping Show

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
07-20-2016Obituaries
Grace A. Williquette

07-20-2016Obituaries
Ellen M. Wearing

07-20-2016Obituaries
Rose A. Sutterfield

07-20-2016Obituaries
Richard J. Steeno

07-20-2016Obituaries
John J. Stanczak

07-20-2016Obituaries
Edwin J. Shrader

07-20-2016Obituaries
Summer Powless

07-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Town Board Changes Meeting to Aug. 16

07-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board Okays Another Voting Machine

07-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Compulsory WHS Activities Meeting

07-20-2016Obituaries
Margaret V. Myers

07-20-2016Obituaries
Melvin Luetkens, Sr.

07-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Amberg Church Polka Mass, Booyah Party

07-20-2016Obituaries
Dorothy A. Lenca

07-20-2016Community - Wausaukee
Marinette Co. Council ALA Names Deanna Farley Head

07-20-2016Obituaries
Marvin Konrath

07-20-2016Obituaries
Alice M. Johnson

07-20-2016Community - Crivitz
Women Wrestlers Car Wash July 23

07-20-2016Community - Crivitz
Edward Jones Open House, Lea Schneider Gets Award

07-20-2016Obituaries
Mary A. Dyer

07-20-2016Obituaries
William A. Balzer

07-20-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Back to School Program

07-20-2016Community - Crivitz
12 at Monday, July 11 Cards

07-20-2016Obituaries
William G. Schumacher

07-20-2016Obituaries
Greg K. Klukas

07-20-2016Community - Coleman
Back to School Name tags for students in Marinette and Menominee counties are now available for Adoption from the School Van parked inside of the Pine Tree Mall.  Residents are encouraged to adopt a child by purchasing school supplies and their first day'

07-20-2016Community - Coleman
Back to School Help For Needy

07-20-2016Obituaries
Marlene A. Kasmarek-Wurth

07-20-2016Community - Coleman
ATV Trail May Again Go Through Coleman

07-20-2016Obituaries
Armand P. Chartre

07-20-2016Obituaries
Hela M. Burg

07-20-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Discusses Employee Leave

07-20-2016Sports
Second Elk Herd Released in Wisconsin

07-20-2016Obituaries
Jeanene M. Behnke

07-20-2016Sports
Friends of Mike Golf Outing at Little River CC August 5

07-20-2016Obituaries
Richard C. Basten

07-20-2016Sports
JV Legion

07-20-2016Sports
Legion Baseball

07-20-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-20-2016Perspectives
From our readers

07-20-2016Perspectives
From My Window

07-20-2016Front Page
Lay Keel For Next LCS Built At Marinette Marine

07-20-2016Front Page
Marinette Pharmacist Angry Over New HHS Contract

07-20-2016Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Okays New Wage Hike for Staff

07-20-2016Front Page
Pharmacist To Address Board Against Genoa

07-20-2016Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Sets Aug. 4 Zoning Meeting

07-13-2016Obituaries
Alice M. Johnson

07-13-2016Obituaries
Michael J. Kacalo

07-13-2016Obituaries
John J. Chervenka

07-13-2016Obituaries
Ronald W. Worm

07-13-2016Obituaries
Michael P. Sieloff

07-13-2016Obituaries
Roger F. Reiswitz

07-13-2016Obituaries
Sheila A. Porter

07-13-2016Obituaries
Beatrice R. Padour

07-13-2016Obituaries
Helen Drath

07-13-2016Obituaries
Edith Cerull

07-13-2016Obituaries
Lloyd Boettcher

07-13-2016Obituaries
Lou L. Bishop

07-13-2016Obituaries
Mary C. Schmeisser

07-13-2016Obituaries
Mary C. Schmeisser

07-13-2016Obituaries
Howard R. Schleihs

07-13-2016Obituaries
Gayle Roach 

07-13-2016Obituaries
Nancy J. Marlatt

07-13-2016Obituaries
Janice M. Kakuk

07-13-2016Obituaries
Jeannine A. Haasch

07-13-2016Obituaries
Bruce A. Erb

07-13-2016Obituaries
Mary A. Dyer

07-13-2016Obituaries
Joy G. Barstow

07-13-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin - Half Past Summer!...

07-13-2016Perspectives
From Our Readers

07-13-2016Perspectives
From Our Readers

07-13-2016Front Page
PARADE FUN

07-13-2016Perspectives


07-13-2016Perspectives
From Our Readers

07-13-2016
From My Window - America's Pastime

07-13-2016Sports
U.P.'s Biggest Outdoors Expo, Trapping Show

07-13-2016Sports
Friends of Mike Golf Outing at Little River CC August 5

07-13-2016Sports
Area Baseball Teams Compete at 2016 Peshtigo Summer Slam

07-13-2016Front Page
Expect County Board Pool Decision July 26

07-13-2016Sports
Predators Avenge Early Loss to Storm

07-13-2016Sports
Tough Week For Area Legion Teams

07-13-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Regular Meet July 18

07-13-2016Community - Coleman
Cave Quest VBS at Hillside, Pound

07-13-2016Community - Coleman
Trinity Church Plan VBS for July 25-29

07-13-2016Community - Coleman
Movie in Park at Coleman July 15

07-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
Presbyterian VBS is July 25-28

07-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
Loomis ALA Elects Officers

07-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
Big Crowd at Athelstane Fire Department Picnic July 9

07-13-2016Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Department 36th Annual Picnic July 30

07-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Bible Soccer Camp at Crivitz Church

07-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Loomis Legion Community Fun Day Set for July 23rd

07-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Motorcycle Charity Ride To Benefit Rescue Squad

07-13-2016Community - Crivitz
Licenses, Roads, Public Works on Town Agenda

07-13-2016Front Page
DOT Installs Flashing Signs On 41 Near George Webb

07-13-2016Front Page
Kimberly-Clark: 125 Years of Papermaking In Marinette

07-13-2016Front Page
Marinette Plan Approves Carry-Out Restaurant

07-13-2016Front Page
Two State Patrol Officers Assigned to Marinette Co.

07-06-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-06-2016Perspectives
From our readers

07-06-2016Perspectives
From My Window

07-06-2016Obituaries
Adell M. Wutke

07-06-2016Obituaries
Janet M. Wolard

07-06-2016Obituaries
Mabel L. Winter

07-06-2016Obituaries
Marlene L. Welton

07-06-2016Obituaries
Patricia Uecke

07-06-2016Obituaries
Lt. Col. John H. Strandquist

07-06-2016Obituaries
Melvin L. Scheer

07-06-2016Obituaries
Thomas J. Martens

07-06-2016Obituaries
Karter K. Lusardi

07-06-2016Obituaries
William B. Johnson

07-06-2016Obituaries
Dalton P. Heimerman

07-06-2016Obituaries
Martha A. Dufresne

07-06-2016Obituaries
JoAnn Wheeler

07-06-2016Obituaries
Jeanie Thomson

07-06-2016Obituaries
Lael A. Snow

07-06-2016Obituaries
Irene L. Schindel

07-06-2016Obituaries
Meryldine E. Peterson

07-06-2016Obituaries
Ann V. Liegeois

07-06-2016Community - Crivitz
Thousands in Crivitz for Annual July 4th Parade

07-06-2016Community - Crivitz
Sand Lake Conservation Camp Successful Year

07-06-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Computers Cost $50,000, Not $400,000

07-06-2016Community - Wausaukee
Lions Raffle Tickets on Sale

07-06-2016Community - Wausaukee
Dyer Earns Pine College Honors

07-06-2016Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Unit To Meet

07-06-2016Community - Wausaukee
Beecher Church Cookout, Car Show

07-06-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board July 11

07-06-2016Community - Coleman
Yard Sale in June a Success

07-06-2016Community - Coleman
Public Forum on Health Programs

07-06-2016Community - Coleman
Ride Pride in Coleman Parade

07-06-2016Sports
Lake Noquebay Sportsman Adult, Youth Week 8 Scores

07-06-2016Sports
Kuchta Takes Girls BB Job at Seymour

07-06-2016Sports
Pillath Tabbed Wisconsin Track Athlete of the Year

07-06-2016Sports
Legion Baseball

07-06-2016Front Page
Peshtigo Hires Police Chief From Michigan

07-06-2016Front Page
4th of July Parade

07-06-2016Front Page
Group to Investigate OF Killing of Geese

07-06-2016Front Page
Deer Kill May End Up at DNR Door

07-06-2016Front Page
Village of Pound Approves Street Repair Assessments

07-06-2016Front Page
Marinette Council Approves Hattie Street Bridge Project

06-29-2016Obituaries
Harold A. Towle

06-29-2016Obituaries
Peter Schussler

06-29-2016Obituaries
Donald Schuchart, Jr.

06-29-2016Obituaries
Marvin R. School

06-29-2016Obituaries
George F. Sager

06-29-2016Obituaries
Ione I. Richardson 

06-29-2016Obituaries
Donald A. Payne

06-29-2016Obituaries
Annabelle M. Pawlowski

06-29-2016Obituaries
Hildegarde Patz

06-29-2016Obituaries
Margaret V. Myers

06-29-2016Obituaries
Raymond P. Kess


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Are you happy with the presidential candidate choices?
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