Governor appoints Dodge County District Attorney to fill vacancy

Resignation of previous DA highlighted attorney shortage hitting court system

A gavel sits on a desk inside a courtroom
This Jan. 14, 2013, file photo shows a gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver. Brennan Linsley/AP Photo

A Waukesha County attorney was appointed as Dodge County District Attorney Wednesday, replacing the former officeholder who resigned last month amid a statewide prosecutor shortage.

Gov. Tony Evers announced the appointment of Andrea Will, a prosecutor from Waukesha County, to fill the office through January 2025.

Former Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg resigned in December, saying he could no longer effectively do his job. Klomberg had served in the elected office since 2010. But he said retirements and resignations were going to leave him the sole full-time prosecutor in his office by mid-January.

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Around the state, both prosecutors and public defender positions have gone unfilled as offices struggle to attract lawyers to fill jobs that have a starting pay rate of $27.24 an hour, or about $56,600 a year. According to the National Association for Law Placement, the median starting private practice salary for law school graduates in 2020 was $130,000.

In January, close to 11 percent of prosecutor positions in the state were vacant. A coalition of criminal justice groups is calling on legislators to increase pay rates for prosecutors and public defenders in the hope of addressing the shortage.

According to a statement from Evers, Will has worked as a prosecutor in Waukesha County since 2008 and has been the lead attorney in 25 jury trials. She will relocate to Dodge County to serve as district attorney.

“Andrea Will is a well-respected attorney, and her experiences, along with her dedication, leadership, and organizational skills, will make her an excellent district attorney for the people of Dodge County,” Evers stated.