Wood County to get two new ADAs
By City Times staff
WOOD COUNTY – Wood County will have two new additional assistant district attorney (ADA) positions added in 2020.
“Portage County got two as well,” said County Board Chair Doug Machon. “But, we’ve been on the list for a long time. We tentatively planned to get them this year. There had been rumblings that the new governor was going to get (it) accomplished. We did indeed receive two new ADAs. That will be starting on the first of the year.”
On Sept. 17, Governor Tony Evers announced that the state will fund 65 additional assistant district attorney positions in 56 counties at a cost of $7.8 million.
A release said that this is “the largest state investment in the district attorney program in the state’s history and the first new full-time GPR-funded positions created for the program by the state in more than 10 years.”
The positions were allocated throughout the state based on requests made by the county district attorneys.
“For far too long our county district attorney offices have been doing more with less,” Gov. Evers said. “This historic investment will enable our county officials to improve victims services, enhance diversion and treatment options for those struggling with substance use disorders, and address backlogs that are standing in the way of justice. District Attorneys are on the front-line of the criminal justice system and we can’t make the critical changes needed to reform our criminal justice system in Wisconsin if our county district attorney offices are overworked and understaffed.”
Machon said that the changes needed to accommodate the additional staff have already been budgeted by the county.
“We already had it in our capital budget for 2020 to remodel an area on the third floor to renovate the district attorneys’ offices now – expansion of those offices – so that we would have room for additional ADAs and their staff,” Machon said.
“We had in the capital improvement plan to remodel and area, and expand an area for the district attorney’s office on the third floor. That was going to be done one way or the other. We put it off last year. We could have put it in last year’s budget, (but) we didn’t think that we were going to get them last year. The requests have always been there… We got them now, so now we have to move.”
Machon added that the new staff will help things run more swiftly in the department.
“We are going to be able to process the cases quicker,” he said. “They’re definitely overworked up there. We are going to get stuff moved through the courts quicker.”