Antigo Daily Journal
space
space Front Page Calendar & Events Classifieds News Obituaries Opinion/Letters Sports

Breaking News

Assistant prosecutor joins D.A. staff
space
Langlade County, meet your new prosecutor, recent University of Wisconsin Law School graduate Kelly Hays.

Hays fills a new position created by the County Board over the winter. She is a native of Adams-Friendship and did her undergrad studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point before heading to Madison for Law School.

District Attorney Elizabeth Gebert expects the addition of Hays to her staff will pay immediate dividends county-wide.

“Having another full-time prosecutor in Langlade County is going to impact the court system and the community as a whole in numerous positive ways,” Gebert said.

“We hope to reduce the time that it takes cases to move through the court process, hopefully also reducing the inmate population of our jail.”

It was a whirlwind month of May for Hays, who graduated from UW on May 10, and left for her honeymoon with husband Clifford the very next day. After spending two weeks in Greece, the pair immediately packed up and moved to Antigo, and she started work in the district attorney's office on May 29.

Hays is enthusiastic to begin her legal career here in the Langlade County Courthouse.

“The transition has been great,” Hays said. “Elizabeth is fantastic, she was all ready for me, giving me enough to keep me busy but not overwhelming me.”

Hays entered college unsure of her career path, but a freshman-year political science course flipped a switch. After declaring a political science major, law school quickly became her focus.

Her experience during a senior year summer internship in the Portage County victim witness coordinator office left no doubt that the path was not only law school, but specifically becoming a prosecutor.

“I knew within a month this is what I wanted to do,” Hays recalled. “It was fast paced, something different all the time. Nothing else is going to be as interesting, or as impactful, and I have stuck with being a prosecutor ever since.”

During the internship, Hays assisted the lead attorney in a child sexual assault jury trial, an experience that continues to resonate and fuel her passion for the new career.

“It was basic stuff, but it felt really big, a way for me to feel involved and included,” Hays said. “The best kind of advocating you can do as a prosecutor is when you have a little bit of emotion in it.

“You can say to the judge or jury, ‘look at all these facts, how does this make us feel?' But at the same time, you have to be logical and rational about it.”

The new prosecutor position was created through the County Board's review and approval process. Gebert's request passed through the Public Safety, Personnel, Finance, and Executive committees before coming before the full County Board. 

The board initially denied the request at the November 2018 meeting, but a motion to reconsider the request at the December meeting led to a unanimous vote in favor.

With the position approved, a hiring committee of Gebert, Human Resources Director Tina Verhagen, and Public Safety Committee Chair Arlene Bonacci interviewed several candidates at the end of January and beginning of February. The committee unanimously agreed Hays was the best candidate for the job, and she accepted the position by the end of February.

While Hays learns the ropes, Gebert will continue to handle the majority of felony cases, including all cases related to methamphetamine. Hays will assume responsibility for all non-meth related misdemeanor cases, all misdemeanor criminal traffic cases, and all ordinance violations.

As she gains experience, Hays' caseload will expand to include some felonies.

Gebert believes adding another prosecutor will have wide-ranging effects, including opportunities to broaden her own reach in the community.

“I will be able to put more effort into the drug crisis response, which has been a commitment of mine since I started here two and a half years ago,” she said. “I will also be in a position to assess and improve our response to first-time offenders. 

“Perhaps most significantly, we will both have time to have more meaningful interactions with crime victims.”

Along with the excitement of beginning her career, Hays is eager to integrate into the Antigo and Langlade County community.

She and Clifford are joined in their new digs by Boots the cat and Zara, a five-month-old blue heeler pup, whose energy level has the family ready to explore the County of Trails.
space

District Attorney Elizabeth Gebert, left, and new county prosecutor Kelly Hays take a break from the criminal justice fight to enjoy the weather outside the courthouse.

Assistant prosecutor joins D.A. staff
space
Langlade County, meet your new prosecutor, recent University of Wisconsin Law School graduate Kelly Hays.

Hays fills a new position created by the County Board over the winter. She is a native of Adams-Friendship and did her undergrad studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point before heading to Madison for Law School.

District Attorney Elizabeth Gebert expects the addition of Hays to her staff will pay immediate dividends county-wide.

“Having another full-time prosecutor in Langlade County is going to impact the court system and the community as a whole in numerous positive ways,” Gebert said.

“We hope to reduce the time that it takes cases to move through the court process, hopefully also reducing the inmate population of our jail.”

It was a whirlwind month of May for Hays, who graduated from UW on May 10, and left for her honeymoon with husband Clifford the very next day. After spending two weeks in Greece, the pair immediately packed up and moved to Antigo, and she started work in the district attorney's office on May 29.

Hays is enthusiastic to begin her legal career here in the Langlade County Courthouse.

“The transition has been great,” Hays said. “Elizabeth is fantastic, she was all ready for me, giving me enough to keep me busy but not overwhelming me.”

Hays entered college unsure of her career path, but a freshman-year political science course flipped a switch. After declaring a political science major, law school quickly became her focus.

Her experience during a senior year summer internship in the Portage County victim witness coordinator office left no doubt that the path was not only law school, but specifically becoming a prosecutor.

“I knew within a month this is what I wanted to do,” Hays recalled. “It was fast paced, something different all the time. Nothing else is going to be as interesting, or as impactful, and I have stuck with being a prosecutor ever since.”

During the internship, Hays assisted the lead attorney in a child sexual assault jury trial, an experience that continues to resonate and fuel her passion for the new career.

“It was basic stuff, but it felt really big, a way for me to feel involved and included,” Hays said. “The best kind of advocating you can do as a prosecutor is when you have a little bit of emotion in it.

“You can say to the judge or jury, ‘look at all these facts, how does this make us feel?' But at the same time, you have to be logical and rational about it.”

The new prosecutor position was created through the County Board's review and approval process. Gebert's request passed through the Public Safety, Personnel, Finance, and Executive committees before coming before the full County Board. 

The board initially denied the request at the November 2018 meeting, but a motion to reconsider the request at the December meeting led to a unanimous vote in favor.

With the position approved, a hiring committee of Gebert, Human Resources Director Tina Verhagen, and Public Safety Committee Chair Arlene Bonacci interviewed several candidates at the end of January and beginning of February. The committee unanimously agreed Hays was the best candidate for the job, and she accepted the position by the end of February.

While Hays learns the ropes, Gebert will continue to handle the majority of felony cases, including all cases related to methamphetamine. Hays will assume responsibility for all non-meth related misdemeanor cases, all misdemeanor criminal traffic cases, and all ordinance violations.

As she gains experience, Hays' caseload will expand to include some felonies.

Gebert believes adding another prosecutor will have wide-ranging effects, including opportunities to broaden her own reach in the community.

“I will be able to put more effort into the drug crisis response, which has been a commitment of mine since I started here two and a half years ago,” she said. “I will also be in a position to assess and improve our response to first-time offenders. 

“Perhaps most significantly, we will both have time to have more meaningful interactions with crime victims.”

Along with the excitement of beginning her career, Hays is eager to integrate into the Antigo and Langlade County community.

She and Clifford are joined in their new digs by Boots the cat and Zara, a five-month-old blue heeler pup, whose energy level has the family ready to explore the County of Trails.
space

District Attorney Elizabeth Gebert, left, and new county prosecutor Kelly Hays take a break from the criminal justice fight to enjoy the weather outside the courthouse.
2019
Wisconsin Public Notice Search
Wisconsin Public Notice Search

space
ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

space
Quick
News Search

Enter Key Word
space
space

Material on this web site has a
copyright by Antigo Daily Journal.
All rights reserved.
© 2000-2019
space