Skip to Content

Marathon County DA faces logjam of unheard cases

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
District Attorney

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Marathon County District Attorney's office says it's dealing with more demand than it can account for, leaving criminal cases unheard.

And they say the reasons for this backlog are piling up.

"We continue to look at those points in the system where we can maybe be more efficient, hold people more accountable," Marathon County District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon said.

She and her team work continually with the Wausau Police Department, saying the county gets the majority of its cases from them.

"They have been wonderful to work with as far as trying to problem-solve," Wetzsteon said.

Wausau Police Chief Ben Bliven also saying the pandemic played a role, and is not necessarily the main cause.

"I think COVID is not the reason for that backlog but COVID has exacerbated that backlog. It has a lot of impact on our community and the safety of our community," Bliven said.

Wednesday's occasion served as an opportunity for public questioning as to how the community can help make the D-A's jobs easier.

"Making sure offenders are making their case a priority in their life, meaning actively seeking defense counsel. There is an issue with a shortage of attorneys but also every offender needs to be making the case their priority to make sure that we move as efficiently as possible," Wetzsteon said.

She also says the first step to address the issue is an investment in new technology, as they were promised a software update they claim they have not received.

A multi-faceted issue, with lots of details still to iron out.

More discussions on this topic are planned for the coming months.

Isak Dinesen

Skip to content