MENOMINEE — Menominee County may be adding a new position in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. 

The Menominee County Personnel Committee met Wednesday to discuss the current organizational structure of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Department and ultimately make a recommendation for the full county board to consider. 

“You’ve heard now from the law enforcement agencies about the backlog of cases in the prosecutor’s office, and the recommendations from those offices and Judge Mary B. Barglind is that we should add another assistant attorney to that office,” County Administrator Jason Carviou told the committee.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Rogg told the Personnel Committee he also does not believe the current workload of the office sees can be handled with the current amount of employees.

He explained that each case takes a lot of time to look over, provide the information to the parties who need it and fill out the paper work. He said its a process that requires several departments and a lot time.

“It takes a while, it’s not a rubber stamp process,” he said. He said the cases come in almost as fast as they are processed, which adds to the continued backlog.

The cases the prosecuting attorney sees are not handled in chronological order, but by order of severity, with violent crimes taking priority.

“We take serious cases out of the pile and do those first because there is a dangerous person,” Rogg said.

To help handle the workload the prosecuting attorney’s department has, Carviou said the Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office could be reorganized so that the current assistant prosecuting attorney would become the chief assistant prosecuting attorney, who would have supervisory duties over a second assistant prosecuting attorney.

“The chief assistant prosecuting attorney would basically have the current assistant prosecuting attorney’s job description with some supervisory roles included in,” he said.

“We believe this position should start at a Grade 12 salary scale,” Carviou said. He said the assistant prosecuting attorney and judges said they are confident the position can be filled at that rate.

Rogg spoke to the personnel committee about this recommendation. He and Carviou found several open posted positions of other counties who are currently looking for assistant prosecuting attorneys to ensure the offered salary is appropriate for the position.

Rogg said he does not believe the position would maintain a single employee for years on end, as it would be an entry-level position geared for individuals who have recently graduated law school.

“I envision this job as an entry level position with someone right out of law school,” Rogg explained. “This would allow them to get courtroom experience and in a few years they can go to a defense attorney’s office with quite a bit of courtroom of experience.”

Commissioner Larry Phelps asked if the position could be filled with the salary range being offered, and if there would even be interest in the job, considering the backlog.

Rogg said he was confident the position could be filled.

“The new person, especially right out of law school, would be very happy to have a job because they can pay their student loans. I think they would be looking forward to the great experience they would get from working in an Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” Rogg said, “and I would hope I would be able to interview this person and can discern an eager beaver who is ready to rock and roll and do whatever is necessary.”

“Anyone with the courage to apply for a Prosecuting Attorney job knows what they’re getting into,” Rogg said.

Much of the work involving the backlog would not be handled by the new assistant prosecuting attorney, he said.

“I would envision myself handling most of the backlog to get a handle on it,” Rogg said. “The new person would be going to court, which is what I do normally.” He said currently, he has little time to do desk work because he spends most of his time in court.

Many of the duties needed to handle the backlog would require additional training that is not taught in law school, Rogg said. However, he said that training would occur, but it would not necessarily be right away.

Carivou also recommended making the position full time, because if the county filled the position part-time, the qualified applicants would start looking for a full time position soon after being hired.

Rogg said adding this position would allow the department, as a whole, to be more pro-active.

The committee unanimously voted in favor of recommending to the full county board to hire a new assistant prosecuting attorney.