Brown County will spend an extra $150,000 this year to address a backlog in drug cases, despite concerns by some supervisors that the expenditure will mean local prosecutors won't get an increase in state aid.
County supervisors voted shortly before midnight Wednesday to commit the funds. The vote was 23-0, with John Van Dyck abstaining. Tom De Wane and Brad Hopp were absent.
Brown County has a backlog of more than 500 drug cases, meaning that months can elapse between the time some drug offenses are committed and the offenders are charged. District attorneys offices are state-funded, but counties are allowed to supplement that money with local dollars.
The $150,000 will pay to hire a prosecutor and a support person under a contract, but the hire will not be permanent. A recent state study concluded that the county DA's office has about half the staff it needs to meet its current caseload.