(Juneau) The Dodge County Board will vote on an advisory resolution asking the state legislature to increase pay for assistant district attorneys. The resolution states the entry level pay for assistant district attorneys has not kept pace with the rate of inflation and is well below the national average.
It also notes that the compensation rate is below other public and private sector attorney positions in both Dodge County and around the state. The hourly pay for assistant DA’s is roughly $27.24, which comes to about $56-thousand-dollars annually. Dodge County Board Chairman Dave Frohling says this is an issue that needs addressing.
“[The] legislature and the governor need to come to some agreement here…cause we’re not the only county with the problem we just have the biggest one right now,” says Frohling.
The Dodge County District Attorney’s Office made statewide headlines when DA Kurt Klomberg resigned and said that current staffing challenges are a result of the state’s failure to keep up with the appropriate compensation levels to attract new prosecution talent. State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam says help should be coming in the state budget.
“Both the district attorneys and the public defenders…this kind of goes hand in hand…their both challenged in this staffing area right now,” says Born. “Both key components of our criminal justice system. You can’t have one without the other to have the constitutional protections.”
Governor Tony Evers has indicated that he will provide funding in his budget proposal. Chairman Frohling says any long term changes would have to come from the state legislature.
“The legislature would probably be a longer term fix than it’ll be in the budget,” says Frohling. “Anything that happens short term the governor is going to probably have to do by assigning retired DA’s to different counties to help them get by until more funding can be in the state budget.”
Frohling says the resolution was backed by the board’s Executive Committee this week and was advanced to the full county board for a vote at their February 20th meeting.