Eric Toney on public safety and the attorney general office
By Zac Schultz | Here & Now
October 18, 2022
We need an attorney general that's going to be serious about addressing those issues because Josh Kaul has shown that he is unserious. He has actually defunded the police at our Department of Justice leaving 25 of our DCI positions unfilled at some point this year. Only 88 out of 113 positions were filled according to Tina Virgil, who is in charge of DCI. He has defunded prosecutors from our Department of Justice where they should have upwards to about 20 of these amazing frontline prosecutors that help DAs in law enforcement across the state. And they're probably been down to about 12 or 14 in the criminal litigation unit in the crime lab. That was Josh Kaul's number one mission that he was going to fix our crime lab. And he's done the opposite. He's made it worse. And he's limiting the number of what we call items that prosecutors of law enforcement can send at one time in many cases. And he's taking in less items to test. He's testing less items, and he's taking longer to do it in most every category including DNA. And there's no excuse for that because since 2020 when the Wisconsin Supreme Court limited the ability to do jury trials here in Wisconsin, many counties including our largest, Milwaukee, took longer to get back to doing jury trials. And some of them weren't doing them at full capacity like they had been doing before. And the reason that matters is this, our three crime labs Wausau, Madison, and Milwaukee, when those analysts do that forensic testing when we have jury trials, they have to drive all over the state to testify. And if they're driving all over the state, they can't be in the lab doing that testing. Well, they weren't driving all over the state because of the Supreme Court's ruling and what we could do with trials and then how some counties responded in the aftermath of that. So they should have been in the lab, they should have been able to test more, and get it done more quickly. But Josh Kaul had them working from home.