Skip to comments.Wis: Asst DA’s rec’d layoff notices; GOP rec’d death threats – Who's the woman in custody?
Posted on 03/13/2011 3:31:36 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Now that Gov Scott Walker and the GOP led state legislature has managed - in the face of overwhelming headaches and death threats - to pass legislation to save public sector jobs, how soon will the Wisconsin Dept of Justice identify who is behind the death threats that were sent to legislators before the vote?
In Sauk County, a letter that serves as a 30-day notice to the possible layoffs, was sent to the assistant district attorneys' union. It wasn't clear how many people could be let go, but the county's district attorney said her department is understaffed and more cuts could cause delays in cases.
"Uncertainty is never good for everyone and I think uncertainty is the hardest thing that everyone struggles with in my office. Every day you come and every day you're not certain what your future is," said Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett. [end excerpt]
DOJ Identifies Sender of Threatening E-mailsMADISON The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin Capitol Police have investigated numerous threats against elected officials over the last four weeks. Last evening, the DCI identified and located a subject suspected of sending at least two of those threats.
The suspect subsequently admitted to authoring and sending two e-mails threatening to kill the Governor and members of the Senate. DCI Administrator Ed Wall said The Division of Criminal Investigation takes these kind of threats seriously and will follow through with the investigation and prosecution whenever possible. This investigation is still ongoing and no further information will be released pending presentation to the District Attorney in the jurisdiction of the threat origination. The Department of Justice has notified members of the Governor's Office and Senate in regard to the recent developments in this investigation. Here is the language from those threats:
. [end excerpt]
12 Mar 2011 Madison, Wis. (WHBL-Learfield) - The Wisconsin Department of Justice says it has located one of the people who sent death threats to elected officials during the controversy at the state Capitol. The female suspect wasn’t named, but the state says she was located last Thursday.
The next step will be up to the district attorney handling the case.
Mar 11, 2011 02:11AM (AP) Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says all threatening messages have been forwarded to Capitol police.
The majority leaders spokesman, Andrew Welhouse, says the address of the person who sent one of the threatening e-mails was apparent, but police told him not to disclose it.
The e-mail said Fitzgerald and his Republican dictators must die because of their actions. Fitzgerald says a protester was arrested this week for trespassing at his Dodge County home after she walked onto his porch and banged on the window.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, left, applauds the Wisconsin governor as many Democrats sit idle in their seats during the governor's budget address to a joint session of the Legislature at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have been protesting the governor's budget for 14 days at the Capitol.
Pelosi or Hillary?
This is a typical pose for Democrats when fiscal responsibility is being discussed and imposed. Tax and spend Democrats are more interested in getting more money to support their programs and buy more votes. When there is no more money, they sit idle.
They were making reservations for hotel accommodations in Illinois, the land of Obama.
Will this rise to even a blip on the msm radar?
Will the msm warn the public it is this sort of hate that lead to the Arizona shootings?
Dept. Police Chief tells Republicans not to march in St. Patrick’s Day Parade:
[excerpt] FOND DU LAC - A parade with more than 50 entries will now be down two participants.
Fond du Lac police say the tension in Madison has spawned threats, they and lawmakers are acting on.
“We’ve taken them all seriously and we’re happy to say that none of them have panned out yet here in Fond du Lac, so we’re still vigilant,” Deputy Chief Kevin Lemke said.
State Senator Randy Hopper and State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, both Republicans, have decided not to march in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday.
Hopper was among the Republican lawmakers who received death threats, in connection to the battle over collective bargaining and fixing a budget deficit.
Deputy Chief Kevin Lemke says officers advised Hopper not to attend. [end excerpt]
That’s interesting. Shouldn’t the cops caught on tape letting thugs into the capitol building they were supposed to ‘lock down’ be fired?
March 10, 2011 3:46:18 a.m. “.....Madison Police Department Sergeant Dave McClurg, who was protesting while off duty, said he was concerned with the dangers of security procedures during the Senates hearing. State law requires the Capitol to remain open after its designated hours during any public meetings.
Protesters began arriving en masse outside the buildings only open entrance near King Street about a half hour before the 6 p.m. Senate hearing. The hearing was only publicly announced at 4:09 p.m.
Because police began airport-like security procedures outfitted with a standing metal detector, the crowd grew as protesters were forced to enter the building one-by-one. McClurg said he was concerned with the dangers to everyone involved because the buildings only entrance at the time was severely overcrowded.
If someone gets hurt tonight because of the security set up, I would testify for them, McClurg said.....”
Well welcome to the real world Patty! Heaven forbid you live like the rest of us without a guarantee-for-life job and bennies. "District attorneys' union"? What the hell is that?! Why in the world do THEY need a union? they're running things as it is!
"Targeting" opponents for defeat in an election however is considered beyond the pale.
“Why in the world do THEY need a union? they’re running things as it is!”
It seems they were being underwritten by Federal Grants until that money dried up.
Oct. 27, 2008 “Amy Menzel works two jobs: She is an assistant district attorney prosecuting domestic violence cases in Outagamie County and, to make ends meet, she waits tables at an Olive Garden restaurant in Appleton.
“The sad part is that I make more money waitressing,” she said. “Hour for hour, dollar for dollar, I make more money as a waitress.”
Menzel graduated from Marquette Law School in 2006 with $125,000 in student loans and was hired as an assistant district attorney in February 2007, making $48,000 a year. At age 27, she is questioning whether she can afford to make a career of prosecuting.
“If money wasn’t an issue, I would love to stay here,” she said.
She is not alone. Frustrated by stagnant pay and burgeoning workloads, assistant state prosecutors are quitting in droves. And cuts in state spending, combined with disappearing federal grants, have forced layoffs - with more expected to come.
The union claims pay has driven the turnover and that the failure of the office to negotiate has damaged the state’s entire prosecutorial program.
“We are ready to go back to the bargaining table anytime,” said Jennifer Donnelly, director of the state office.
“There are really two issues here,” said Catharine D. White, who is president of the prosecutor’s union and an assistant district attorney for Shawano and Menominee counties.
“The first, we need to stop the bleeding. We need to keep the people we have (by increasing salaries).”
When White tries to explain the predicament to her clients, many of whom make much less than the average district attorney, she offers a quick lesson in market economics.
Most of the best lawyers go where they can earn the most money, she explains.
One source of help for district attorneys across the state has been federal grants to expand their staffs. Most notable has been the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. In December, the grant’s fiscal-year 2008 funding was slashed from $520 million to $170 million.
This loss of federal grant money, Chisholm said, means the potential loss of 10 or 12 assistant district attorneys positions in his office by spring. .....
-——assistant district attorneys’ union-——
Unionized lawyers. Wisconsin is in very very deep XXXX
And their political allies in the state house want them to intercede in their favor:
March 10, 2011, 4:30 PM EST —..... Yesterdays vote violated the states open meetings law by failing to give 24-hours notice, Barca said in a complaint filed with Dane County District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne in Madison, Wisconsin, today. Barca said he was informed of the session considering the bill less than two hours before it convened. The state assembly is considering passage of the bill today.
The district attorney has the authority to enforce the open meetings law, Tamara Packard, Barcas attorney, said in an interview. Barca is seeking an order declaring the vote is void, she said.
The next step is for us to look into the allegations and thats what were doing, Ozanne said in a phone interview today. The district attorneys office doesnt have the power to void the vote, he said. That would be determined by a court.
If his office finds a violation, it could file a complaint in court seeking an injunction voiding the vote, he said.
Barca and 10 other legislators also wrote Ozanne yesterday protesting the state senates vote. This evenings actions by the Wisconsin State Senate have called into question the very legitimacy of our democracy, they wrote. At this time, we ask that you investigate and prosecute to the greatest extent this assault on transparent government. Barca filed a formal complaint today.
By all means, all 27 yo folks should make 6 figures...I think it's in the Constitution and is a "right."
So, by "understaffed," does that mean that some employees might have to put in more than an hour's worth of work a day?
Budget puts bite on DA
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
[March 9, 2011] The budget battle raging in Madison is already taking a local toll. Friday, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Holets left the Douglas County District Attorneys Office for a similar position a few miles away, in a state where public employees arent under attack.
Holets now works for the criminal division of the St. Louis County Attorneys Office. He left the Wisconsin position after only eight months because Minnesota offers a better opportunity.
Its a selfish, personal decision I guess, Holets said. Theres more room for growth; you get raises over there; its easier to make that a career track position because of the way the state of Minnesota views this position versus the state of Wisconsin.
He praised everyone hes worked with in Douglas County.
I like this office a lot, I really do. The people here are top-notch, Holets said. He was torn about applying for the Minnesota position, but the state of Wisconsin made his decision easy.
Im very happy to be going because of the opportunity, Holets said. Im not happy to be leaving.
The wheels of justice may grind more slowly in Douglas County as a new ADA is sought.
I think the quality of the work is going to continue, said District Attorney Dan Blank. Were not going to sacrifice our effort and our attitude and our support of victims in the community. It just feels like were fighting an uphill battle at times.
And, he said, they may have to sacrifice quantity for that quality.
We cant be everything for everybody, Blank said. Low level offenses are going to get way less attention than they possibly deserve, certainly than they would have gotten in the past.
For the fifth time in less than two years, the DA is going through the hiring process.
Its just exhausting, he said, and very, very frustrating.
Hes once again reassigning cases, some of which are already on their third or fourth prosecutor. Blank and the two ADAs that remain full-timer Mark Freuhauf and Shelley Torvinen in the half-time position will see their caseloads increase by up to 40 percent as they wait for another prosecutor.
The current system is set up for turnover in the office, according to Blank and Holets.
In this market and this political environment right now, I think it is pure public service, Blank said.
Pay for ADAs has been frozen at $48,000 for years, and furlough days chipped away at that. Even if the proposed budget re-institutes cost of living increases, they will see a net loss due to increases in health care premiums and pension costs. And the loss of collective bargaining rights would be an added blow.
Its such a good job; its such a good place to be that I think youll be able to get people here, but keeping people is going to be the difficult, Holets said. Then you end up as a training facility for other places and thats no way to run this kind of a job.
There is a second part to the story. An experienced prosecutor from another had applied for the ADA position before the budget bills were unveiled. Blank contacted him recently, and he said he is no longer interested in relocating to Douglas County because the status of state employment is so unstable.
These are real-life examples of how the proposed budget bills are impacting everyday people, Blank said.
This is a sign of very bad budget practices. If you can't align your personnel numbers within a reasonably expected tax revenue, but figure to use grants to fill any budget shortage then you're an idiot.
I guess this would be one of those “unfunded mandate” kind of things?
Like 100,000 police officers paid for up front by the Federal government and then the states must pick up the tab — and when the state finally goes bankrupt and screams “Uncle!” the newly minted union members march on the capital demanding their “rights.” When in fact it’s the union dues their Democrat masters want siphoned off and put in their pockets.
And why Gov Rick Scott in FL said, “No thanks” to the Fed stimulus money for HSR.
You have a good Gov in Scott Walker.
Caught that too...
A lawyer’s union...
When the federal government can give “grants” they get to pick and choose who gets the money... We can all guess how that works...