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New DA Requests County Funds For Additional Attorney

Marinette County Administrator John LeFebvre told the Marinette County Law Enforcement Committee at their meeting Monday, July 10 that District Attorney DeShea Morrow has requested funding to hire two full-time assistants.

"I received a request from the new DA asking for a commitment from the county to fund" an assistant DA position," Lefebvre told the committee. "I think this year, in 2017, the county had placed in the budget funds for a half-time DA position for nine months. The intent was that it would be January through September and possibly as part of the state budget there would be full funding of the position by the state. I don't think that's going to happen so the DA has asked me if the county would commit for a couple of years to fund a half-time DA position with the other half of it coming from the state."

Morrow was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker to fill the remainder of Allen Brey's term following his resignation. Brey was never able to fill the part-time assistant DA position that Morrow occupied before she was elevated to full time assistant last year.

Lefebvre also said he would be discussing the issue with the County's finance and personnel committees, and the Law Enforcement Committee planned an extra meeting before the next full County Board meeting on July 25.

The committee also received a report from Marinette County Emergency Management Director Eric Burmeister, who said the total public sector loss within Marinette County from June storms was $263,500.

Burmeister said the county has submitted an application for reimbursement to the Wisconsin Disaster Fund on behalf of the Town of Beecher, Town of Dunbar, Town of Peshtigo, Town of Stephenson, Village of Crivitz and Marinette County itself.

The county was added to that due to a June 14 lightning strike on the top of the courthouse which damaged camera and information services equipment.

He added that between June 11 and 30, Marinette County received between 9.5 and 11 inches of rain.

Communication Director Kirsten Bellisle reported that the dispatch center received a total of 212 calls within an hour following the thunderstorm. A total of 144 of those calls were for downed wires, 54 were for fallen trees, seven required emergency medical services and four were for miscellaneous reasons, including structure fires.

She said the average response time for a call to the dispatch center was 11 seconds on that day, falling short of the national standard of 10 seconds.

In total, 7,206 calls were received during the month of June, with 1,349 emergency calls and 5,857 that were not emergencies. The busiest hour of the month was 1 p.m. due to the storm, as 4 p.m. is typically the busiest hour during the month.

The Marinette County Jail population was down from last month, while also lower than last June's totals. The average head count during June this year was 100.67, as opposed to 126.93 last year. In May of this year, the jail averaged 108.26 people.

Committee member Paul Gustafson asked why the population is decreasing, and wondered whether it was because less criminals were being caught or they were being released.

"I believe they're still catching them," Jail Administrator Bob Majewski said. "I'm thinking that the ones that really need to stay in and go through the court process quickly are the ones staying in and the ones that are out waiting for that court process to start are still waiting" That's my guess."

The jail population report for the month was completed by Tom Borque, who was announced as assistant jail administrator, a position approved in June by the Law Enforcement Committee and County Board.

Borque currently serves as senior corrections officer, a position which will be eliminated once Borque vacates it. Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve selected Borque to occupy the position.

Marinette County Chief Sheriff's Deputy James Hansen announced the position change, saying of Borque, "He has done a great job here for many years and we anticipate that he will continue to do so and be a great asset in that position."


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