Brown County committee votes against adding prosecutors with local money

GREEN BAY, Wis. - A detective with Green Bay Police tells NBC26 Brown County doesn't have enough prosecutors. 

Paying for district attorneys has traditionally been the state's responsibility.

Monday, the Brown County Executive Committee voted against a plan to hire more with local money.

The idea got very little support. County supervisors tell us it would be too much too soon.

A shortage in the county’s district attorney's office isn't just causing the accused to wait longer for a trial. According to GBPD detective Cassie Pakkala, it's also costing their victims closure. 

"I think it would be a lot more helpful for victims if the state would fund more positions in our district attorney's office to get some of these cases prosecuted a little bit sooner," said Pakkala. 

Brown County leaders are considering paying for three more prosecutors but some say that alone wouldn't fix the issues because judges and public defenders calendars are still full.

“You can't take a 5 pound bag and just stuff it full of, uh, something I've heard of once,” said Bernie Erickson, county supervisor.

Another issue is the cost. Adding three more prosecutors would cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I'm not opposed to actually putting some money setting aside for next year's budget for this very issue, although I do think that the state has some responsibility in this, that we are short of DAs and they are supposed to pay for the DAs,” said Tom Lund, Brown County Board vice-chair. 

Lund says he'd like to see the board study the issue more before acting on it. 

Even if the county covered the cost of three more attorneys, it'd still be down eight from where a state study says it would need to be to operate effectively.

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