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St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson

St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson will seek re-election

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crime and courts River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson announced that he is running for re-election.

"I am extremely proud of my office's accomplishments in the last few years and I am looking forward to meeting the significant challenges that our office will face in the future," Johnson said.

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"These challenges include smaller government funding, a larger and growing population base, which will increase criminal referrals and keeping a lid on the continuing drug problem, primarily meth."

Johnson, a Republican, said he believes that the St. Croix County District Attorney's office has been able to incorporate strong prosecution while looking at other alternatives.

"The alternatives include the St. Croix County's Diversion Program, the St. Croix County Drug Court and the St. Croix County Juvenile Treatment Court," Johnson said. "It is important to prioritize which cases are prison, which are jail and which should be informal.

"I believe our office, along with strong sentencing from our judges, sends a message to potential criminal offenders that St. Croix County is not a good place to do business."

Johnson said he is proud of his Diversion Program, which was created in his office and currently serves 95 offenders.

"We did a study of our Diversion Program and concluded that after five years the recidivism rate was 23 percent. People who have been involved in our Diversion Program generally have not reoffended.

"I also believe that we have one of the strongest victim/witness programs in the state. Our victim/witness advocates are strong proponents of victim's rights and are not afraid to raise issues that our prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys are not always aware of.

"We also receive numerous letters and contacts from victims who have positively benefitted from their services. It is an office that provides an enormous benefit to the criminal system but at times operates under the radar."

Johnson also started the District Attorney's Stop Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program in 1990. The program involves county students in grades 4-7 submitting anti-drug and alcohol abuse posters to the DA's office.

"During this 22-year time period we have raised over $165,000 from private donations," he said. "We have had over 900 winners and have distributed $56,000 in savings bonds and over 168,000 calendars. We have also had over 31,000 students involved in the program during these years. I believe the program has been an enormous success, and the community involvement has been excellent."

Johnson is a native of Manitowoc and graduated from Luther College and Hamline Law School. Johnson also attended American University in Washington, D.C.

He was the St. Croix County Assistant District Attorney from 1982 to 1984 and was elected district attorney in Pierce County from 1984 to 1989.

In 1989, Johnson was appointed by Gov. Tommy Thompson as district attorney in St. Croix County and has been re-elected to that position since 1990. Johnson is currently the second longest serving DA in the state of Wisconsin.

He has been president of the Wisconsin District Attorney's Association in 1989 and 1995. Johnson was also awarded the Attorney General's Certificate of Recognition in May 1995. He also received the Wisconsin District Attorney's Association Award for Dedication and Service in 1995.

Johnson is married, lives in North Hudson and has three children.

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