Open Letter to the Wisconsin Legislature and Gov. Walker i.e. Wisconsin District Attorneys

I am not going to get into all of the idiocy surrounding the scam/cover up perpetrated by two former Milwaukee County District Attorney office prosecutors. But I do have to question why one of them needed an outside job as a waitress:

It began in July when Schrank was on a shift as the “Duty DA,” a prosecutor who keeps a special phone law enforcement officers can call for advice after hours.

The night of July 16, Schrank expected to be extra busy at her evening waitress job and asked Apollo, who had quit the DA’s office in March, to monitor the phone for her.

I believe that the State of Wisconsin is responsible for funding the various District Attorney offices around the state. Are we not paying our attorneys enough that they need to take on second jobs to make ends meet? Do we want prosecutors working outside the DA office? And don’t we want the on call attorneys available to take the calls they are responsible for? Maybe it’s time to examine the funding and pay structures to insure the state and counties can employ qualified attorneys and compete on salary and benefits with private practice.

And if I were a prosecutor, I’d think the last thing I would want to happen is having someone I was prosecuting show up in a place of business where I was a part time employee and have to serve them as a customer.


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1 thought on “Open Letter to the Wisconsin Legislature and Gov. Walker i.e. Wisconsin District Attorneys

  1. I am a Wisconsin prosecutor and I can say that the lack of adequate pay and staffing is absolutely the biggest single problem I see in the justice system. Many of the other problems flow, in no small part, from staffing and pay issues. We can’t even start to tell where the other problems are reliable until the people in the systems get the time, resources and experience to do their jobs to the best of their ability. It doesn’t take much time as a prosecutor to realize your can get paid much more for equal or less work, or at least less stressful work.

    To all of those wanting reform, we won’t get it meaningfully if we aren’t willing to pay for it. You get what you pay for, and criminal justice is worth paying for.

    I obviously have a personal bias here, but my arguments extend to public defenders, clerks, support staff and all the overburdened members of the justice community.

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