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Search continues for new director of State Courts

John Voelker, director of state courts, stands outside the Capitol in February.Staff photo by Kevin Harnack

John Voelker, former director of State Courts, stands outside the Capitol in February. The search is still on for his successor. (File photo by Kevin Harnack)

The state’s court system is still looking for someone to lead its administrative offices as Gov. Scott Walker is proposing cuts to key areas of the legal community.

The director of State Courts is the chief nonjudicial officer and manager of the state court system, according to the Wisconsin Court System website. The position has been open since former Director of State Courts John Voelker stepped down in July to take a job as deputy secretary of the state’s Department of Employee Trust Fund. The matter of hiring is pending before the state Supreme Court, according to an email attributed to Tom Sheehan, court information officer.

The annual salary for the position is $139,059. The director of State Courts oversees about 200 employees and a team of two deputy directors of state courts, a chief information officer, seven department managers, the public information officer and the legislative liaison.

Before his departure, Voelker made an early push for Walker and the Legislature to increase the state revenue the courts system receives from 0.85 percent to 1 percent, or about $28.8 million more.

Walker released his proposal for the 2015-17 biennial budget Feb. 3. He did not recommend cutting state revenue for the Supreme Court, state Circuit Courts and state Court of Appeals. His proposal includes $3.1 million more for the courts.

However, Walker did propose eliminating the Judicial Council and transferring authority and budgetary responsibility for the Judicial Commission to the Supreme Court.

About Erika Strebel,

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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