02/14/2019- 522 and counting: that’s the number of criminal cases awaiting review by the Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Sheriff Kenny Marks addressed the County Board of Commissioners Wednesday night to discuss the backlog which he attributes largely to an office staffing shortage. Marks says some cases date back more than five years and the failure to deliver timely justice affects both the victims and defendants. He’s urging the board to consider a three-year plan that involves formally requesting help from the state Attorney General’s office and bringing on at least one more assistant prosecuting attorney to help deal with the load, a move several other comparable-sized counties in Michigan have already made.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Rogg says the Sheriff is correct in noting Menominee County has fewer APA’s than other similar counties in the state, but adds there’s another unique challenge contributing to the local backlog- the number of drug cases involving residents from Marinette County and further into Wisconsin.
The Board ultimately passed a resolution directing the Prosecuting Attorney’s office to prepare a report on the backlog as well as a plan to address the issue, though Rogg made it clear he took offense to some of the document’s wording implying there was systemic dysfunction in the PA’s office. That report is required to be submitted in the next three weeks.