Dodge County DA Discusses 2016 Filings

(Juneau) Dodge County’s most serious criminal filings were up in 2016.  District Attorney Kurt Klomberg says there were 441 felonies filed last year.  He says there was an average of 425 per year from 2004 to 2015.  Klomberg says his office also filed 463 criminal misdemeanors in 2016, which was down considerably from the 761 per year since 2004.  However, Klomberg says that was largely due to a drastic reduction in ‘issuing worthless check’ cases.  He says there was an average of 319 of those cases from 2004-2006.  That number dropped to 72 per year from 2013-2015.  Aside from the worthless check filings, Klomberg says there was still a drop of roughly misdemeanors from 2015 to 2016.  In addition to Klomberg, the office has three assistant district attorneys and one county-provided attorney who does not handle a full workload.  In recent years, Klomberg and his fellow Wisconsin district attorneys unsuccessfully petitioned to have additional state funds directed toward hiring more assistant DA’s.  Klomberg suggested an additional two ADA’s for Dodge County; a number he says resulted from a state analysis of each county’s office.  Klomberg hopes funding will be included in the upcoming two-year state budget, which will be voted on later this year.  He says Dodge County’s staffing shortage was noticeable last year as the office “kept its head above water without being properly staffed.”  Klomberg says the sheriff’s office alone produces over 10,000 hours of audio/video per year.  Despite his staffers typically working 50-55 hours per week, Klomberg says there is not enough time to listen to all of the footage.  He is concerned that could lead to important information being missed.  Klomberg praised the county’s municipal courts for handling a larger number of misdemeanor cases in recent years to help ease his office’s burden and noted a strong working relationship with local law enforcement to help bring a large number of criminals to justice.