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Friday - February 23, 2018 1:44 am

Onalaska judge criticized for courtroom management says staff handles finances

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city council chamber in Onalaska city council chamber in Onalaska

Onalaska's municipal judge is being accused of mismanaging the court. He, however, says the criticism is not justified.

John Brinckman says his duties as a part-time municipal judge for seven communities in La Crosse County involve presiding over cases for just a few hours a week.

An audit of the office showed a backlog of fines that had not been handled but Brinckman says other staffers are responsible for those.

"We have a full-time clerk that is responsible, and we have a head of finance, the finance director, who dictates all reports that my clerk generates," Brinckman said.

Brinckman said his job only requires him to preside over court.

Asked whether the municipal court should have a full-time judge, Brinckman said, "No."

"I've talked to dozen of municipal judges," he said. "None of them oversee the input into the computer programs. That is not a responsibility of a municipal judge."

Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen wants Brinckman and his critics on the city council to discuss the dispute at the next council meeting.

Brinckman, however, said he would rather meet with the others in a neutral setting, without being restrained by the rules of a council session.



Last modified on Friday - February 23, 2018 9:03 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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