After a 2-month vacancy, Dodge County now has a new district attorney
JUNEAU, Wis. (CBS 58) -- It's been two months since Dodge County's district attorney resigned due to a critical shortage of prosecutors. Now, positions are being filled and there's a new DA taking over.
Andrea Will comes to the Dodge County DA's position with more than a decade of experience and says her first priority has been tackling lingering staffing issues.
"I was initially very reluctant to apply for this position, and in fact when I applied for it, I didn’t initially share for my husband how bad the staffing issue was," she said.
Will has been in her new role for about a month and says it's been a big transition. "In addition to learning an entirely new job, in a new county, with new support staff, new judges, I also had to hire individuals, so it's been a challenge. It’s been an exciting challenge though," said Will.
Will previously spent 15 years working for Waukesha County, most recently as assistant district attorney.
Her first order of business in Dodge County has been using her connections to fill open positions.
She said the office is now close to full staffing, a long-awaited goal. In the next year, she's hoping to make some impactful changes.
"One of the things I'm going to do is change the way that we handle operating while intoxicated cases, right now we wait until we get the blood results back from the state lab of hygiene before we issue those charges. I'm going to change that," she said.
Other main priorities are building relationships with law enforcement and people in the community. She's also stressing the need for more funding across the state to prevent future prosecutor shortages.
"To be clear, I did not bring new prosecutors into the state of Wisconsin...these are existing prosecutors that really wanted to be part of a rebuild, and so that hiring crisis and the pay crisis in the state is not gone just because we were able to fill vacancies," said Will.
Right now, the immediate focus is dealing with a backlog of cases, but Will says the new team is equipped to handle heavy workloads.