Toney again takes aim at Kaul over DCI agent staffing

MADISON, Wis. — Republican Attorney General candidate Eric Toney on Wednesday demanded his Democratic opponent release information on staffing levels within the Division of Criminal Investigation, accusing the sitting Attorney General of failing to properly staff the agency.

Toney, along with the sheriffs from Dodge and Washington counties, held a news conference in downtown Madison Wednesday morning in which they voiced concerns about how DCI staffing is affecting law enforcement agencies across the state.

“If he is serious about public safety and not just lip service, he will release this information to the public so we can see the resources that have not been available to our local law enforcement and prosecutors across Wisconsin,” Toney, the district attorney for Fond du Lac county, said.

For the Record: Attorney general candidates on DCI vacancy claims, funding priorities

Toney made similar comments during an appearance on For the Record that aired Sunday morning. Speaking to News 3 Now’s Naomi Kowles, he accused his opponent of “defund(ing) DCI agents at our Department of Justice by about 18%, leaving positions unfilled.”

The state’s most recent biennial budget, though, only authorizes 87 full-time DCI agents. Of those, 78 are full and another DCI recruitment class of 17, including several agents, is coming in.

For his part, Kaul said “as attorney general, we’ve worked to fill every position that we can afford to fill at DOJ.”

“The number of DCI agents fluctuates over time; we hire the best investigators in the state and many of them are later in their careers so we have retirements. But we hire people in waves to make sure folks are trained at the same time,” he continued.