Langlade Co. DA's office to focus more on victims, meth epidemic by adding additional prosecutorSubmitted: 01/01/2019
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Langlade Co. DA's office to focus more on victims, meth epidemic by adding additional prosecutor
LANGLADE CO. - Elizabeth Gebert often feels like she's two people.

The truth is, the Langlade Co. District Attorney often has to act like two people.

Her office is so understaffed, her workload is more than what two lawyers should be taking on, according to a state study.

It means she works 80 hours a week. Cases stack up. She can't meet personally with many crime victims.

"The most common feeling that I hear expressed by crime victims is frustration with how long it takes to get their case going, get their case moving," Gebert said.

But that should change soon. In December, the Langlade Co. Board unanimously approved funding for an additional full-time prosecutor. It's something Gebert has badly wanted ever since an effort by state lawmakers came up short.

State Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) is now a Senator-elect. In 2017, as a member of the Assembly, he proposed a bill to add prosecutors to many county offices.

"Across the entire state, we have a critical understaffing of our district attorneys offices," Jacque said. "It's really in every corner of the state. It's something that, I think, significantly damages our public safety in a lot of different ways."

But Jacque's bill died, prompting Gebert into action in Langlade Co. seeking more help.

Now, with a new prosecutor coming, Gebert says she can help more people in Langlade Co., even if they've never been in the criminal justice system before.

"The harsh reality is you can be a victim of a crime any day," she said. "When that happens, all of a sudden, you will see and appreciate being able to talk to the prosecutor, being able to meet face-to-face with the prosecutor."

Gebert also hopes to spend more time outside of the courtroom once she hires another prosecutor. She wants to bring attention to the county's meth epidemic. The move by the board will give her that flexibility.

"It's an overwhelming vote of confidence that the county board gave me," she said. "It is so wonderful that they did that. It's encouraging to me. It gives me hope."

Langlade Co.'s count of felony cases increased from 314 in 2017 to more than 350 in 2018.

That's largely due to the meth problems in the county.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting.  Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15.  Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.  

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The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"

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(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/19/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.

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We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Some groups in Park Falls plan to try to capitalize on a unique federal tax incentive program. The Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation and area Chamber of Commerce already had a plan to educate people on a fairly new tax benefit program, one that will help create opportunity in the area.

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