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Dane County leaders call for action on DA staffing shortages

Officials say DA offices across the state need more prosecutors

MADISON, Wis. - Advocates for victims of domestic violence joined Dane County leaders call on the governor and state Legislature to address ongoing staffing shortages in the Dane County District Attorney's Office and DA offices across the state.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said his office is staffed at 1985 levels, which is not nearly enough to handle the amount of cases in 2013.

As state funding for prosecutors has declined over the years, workload has increased, and more cases have been dismissed, with lesser charges being pursued in certain cases, according to Dane County officials.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the money is there, with a $200 million state budget surplus, to invest in public safety.

"We're not saying we have to do it all today, or all in this budget, but if they could start making some progress to fill some of these positions to help protect the public, we would appreciate it very much," Parisi said.

Parisi cited a state report from the state prosecutor's office, saying the state is short more than 200 prosecutors. He said Dane County has 25 and needs 40 prosecutors.

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