County Attorney Treadwell gets new assistants for office

New faces and voices are greeting people and answering the telephones at the county attorney’s office on the third floor of the McCulloch County courthouse. Linda Watts, a current resident of Winchell, is now in her third week of employment as assistant to the county attorney and hot check program coordinator. She comes to McCulloch after working as the Brown County Clerk for the past three years. As assistant to County Attorney Ginger Treadwell, she will work in tandem in virtually all cases that come through the office doors. Besides acting as the hot check coordinator, she will also be assisting the county attorney in handling complaints, taking information on drug offenses, issuing protective orders and a host of other tasks relevant to the office. As hot check program coordinator, Ms. Watts will be continuing and expanding the use of a software program that is now in its second year of use in McCulloch County. Known as “Papcon,” the software is a highly-specialized program that facilitates the notification and fund recovery process associated with bad checks written in McCulloch County. “This program is relatively new to the county, but it is designed to educate and assist both merchants and offenders about the proper way of dealing with hot checks,” said Ms. Watts. Once entered into the system, the software is designed to provide the county attorney’s office with the necessary letters, follow up information and warrants if necessary. The program also tracks and audits all funds that are recovered and distributed through the program. Another new face in the county attorney’s office is Barbara Hodges, who recently relocated to Brady from Maryland and is filling a new position created and funded in full by a state grant. With ties to Brady on her husband Dusty’s side, the Hodgeses moved to Brady just a few weeks ago. Together, the couple has three sons, Adam 13, Ben 10 and Logan 6. “Dusty has been back in Brady for a few months, but we just moved here two weeks ago,” said Mrs. Hodges. “I was worried about being an outsider in the community, but people in Brady have been very nice and accepting.” As the full-time victim assistance coordinator or crime victim liaison, Mrs. Hodges’ duty by definition of the code of criminal procedure is to ensure that a victim, guardian of a victim or close relative of a deceased victim is afforded the rights granted to them by law. “In essence, my job is to let victims of violent crimes know what their rights are and get them the state help or restitution they deserve,” said Mrs. Hodges. “I help walk them through the judicial process and keep them informed about what is going on in the legal proceedings.” The position is required in each county and McCulloch has had individuals serving in this capacity up until this point, but only on an unofficial basis. “This is a position that our office has had, but thanks to this renewable grant, we were able to hire someone to serve in the position full-time,” said Mrs. Treadwell. “As long as we can prove to the state that the position is needed and beneficial to the county, we should be able to qualify to have the grant renewed. The entire cost of this position including salary and benefits is covered by this grant and comes at no cost to the taxpayers in the county.”

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