By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Wood Co. has welcomed a new Assistant District Attorney to its staff.
Former Portage Co. ADA David Knaapen has made the 17 mile trek to Wood Co. and brings decades of experience with him. Knaapen served as Portage Co. ADA since 2002, and prior to that served in the Columbia Co. DA’s office for almost two years. Knaapen also worked in the state public defender’s office for nine years.
Knaapen majored in communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and received his Juris Doctor from Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Knaapen also made an unsuccessful bid at a run for Portage Co. Circuit Court Judge in 2016. In a unique twist of fate, former Wood Co. ADA Michael Zell has taken Knaapen’s former position at the Portage Co. District Attorney’s office.
“This was an opportunity to come to an office where I thought they would value and appreciate my experience,” said Knaapen. “The timing just seemed to work out right.”
According to Knaapen, the familiarity of the area and the welcoming nature of Wood County officials have made for an easy change.
“From the time that I’ve worked in Portage County, I’m familiar with all of the judges, and I’ve known Craig [D.A. Lambert] before he became the DA — we knew each other before we became assistants,” said Knaapen. “It’s a pretty easy transition and I’m looking forward to working with everybody – I’ve been well received by law enforcement and the staff.”