Barron County may have a new District Attorney (DA) before the end of the month, according to Governor Scott Walker’s office on Monday.
Responding to a question from drydenwire.com, Gov. Walker’s Press Secretary Amy Hasenberg said that Governor Walker has interviewed the candidates. “The Governor is evaluating the candidates and will make a decision in the next couple of weeks.”
She said in the interim The Department of Administration (DOA) has worked with local officials to appoint DA coverage for Barron County.
“John O’Boyle, a longtime prosecutor (former DA in Pierce County and current ADA in Barron County) will be serving as the Interim DA for Barron County until the Governor makes his appointment,” she said.
She added Assistant District Attorney John Rafa Todd will continue to serve in his capacity as an ADA in Barron County. Barron County Judge James Babler also appointed two local attorneys, Les Liptak and Brian Wright, to serve as Special Prosecutors.
The DOA (via the State Prosecutors Office) arranges to fund these positions. The special prosecutors will be the functional equivalent of an ADA. John O’Boyle will be in charge of the office until the Governor’s appointee assumes the DA position.
3 People Apply for Barron County District Attorney
Thursday, February 15, 2018 | by Steve Briggs
Amy Hasenberg for the office of Gov. Scott Walker stated to DrydenWire on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, that three attorneys — Aaron Marcoux, Brian Wright, and Joseph Schieffer — applied for the Barron County District Attorney position before the February 12th deadline.
Hasenberg went on to say that the application process typically takes 8-10 weeks from the date that the Governor’s office receives the resignation letter. A resignation letter was received from current Barron County District Attorney Angela Beranek on January 19, 2018.
Beranek announced in mid-January she is stepping down from her position as Barron County District Attorney on March 2nd to join the Eau Claire County District Attorney’s office as an Assistant DA.
Beranek is out of the Barron County office on vacation this week and was unavailable for comment.
The appointment of a District Attorney is a decision made by the Governor, and so the process moves as quickly or as slowly as the Governor deems necessary.
When there are no more than three DA candidates, as in Barron County, the governor may choose to interview all three. Otherwise, a committee is appointed to review the candidates and recommend the top choices to the governor.
The two Barron County Assistant DAs will handle the prosecutorial duties of the office after District Attorney Beranek steps down and until the new District Attorney takes office, but if the caseload is too large, the governor has the option to appoint a Special Prosecutor to act as temporary DA.
The caseload in the Barron County DA’s Office is large enough that Barron County could utilize as many as five Assistant DAs, but Beranek’s recent request to add one assistant DA to bring the total up to three was rejected by the Governor.