Primary in Washington County for Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court


Two candidates are running in the August 9 Republican Party primary to succeed Washington County Clerk Theresa Russell, who will not seek another term in the position. The winner of the primary will likely succeed Russell as there are no other candidates on the ballot for the position.

Sarah Markos Adjemian and Connie J. Hogendyk are seeking to succeed Russell in this role. The two recently responded to questions submitted by the Express News.

Who is the Clerk of the Circuit Court? What are the duties and responsibilities of this government position?
In response to the question, Adjemian said, “The Clerk of the Circuit Court is a constitutional officer, who is part of the judicial branch of government, and is elected every four years. The duties of the Circuit Court clerk are found in Wisconsin statutes, primarily in Section 59.40, but generally consist of facilitating the Circuit Court system.
She then said, “As the custodian of the court record, the clerk must maintain records of all documents filed with the courts, maintain a record of each legal proceeding, and select and notify jurors for jury service. The clerk manages the collection of various fees and fines required by law or ordered by the courts. The clerk also budgets and administers court resources, develops policies and procedures for court staff, and recruits and retains court staff. The Washington County Circuit Court Clerk works closely with judges, attorneys, Washington County court personnel, various government agencies, and the public to ensure the smooth operation of court administration. “

In response to the question, Hogendyk said, “The Clerk of the Circuit Court is a constitutional officer elected by the residents of Washington County to fulfill statutory responsibilities for various court recordkeeping duties. The clerk has an essential and complex role in the judicial system. The office is responsible for all non-judicial operations of the court. This office is the custodian of records and is responsible for the essential function of protecting the accuracy and preserving the integrity and transparency of public court records. Other duties include case management and event tracking, maintaining the jury system, facilities planning, budget planning, and communicating legal actions to the public and various government agencies. The court clerk is a fundamental part of the system from a financial standpoint by generating revenue for the county and state by collecting fines, forfeitures, court costs, and fees. The Clerk supports the judges you elect, county attorneys, and citizens who come to the office by providing friendly, efficient service and equal access to all users. »

How long have you been a county resident?
In response to the question, Hogendyk said, “I have been a county resident for ten years. I’ve been in the community since 2008, when I started my career as a victim witness specialist at the Washington County District Attorney’s office. I currently live in Germantown.

In response to the question, Adjemian said, “I was raised in my Milwaukee by an inner city pastor and moved to Washington County in 2000. I have lived in Hartford for 22 years where my husband and I are raising our two children. .”

Why are you applying for the position?
In response to the question, Adjemian said, “I have worked in the Washington County Clerk’s Office since January 2017 as the Estates Recorder and Assistant Court Clerk. As a county court officer, I enjoyed being able to serve the residents of Washington County. Most residents come to court in difficult circumstances, and it is imperative that court staff offer a caring and listening ear, guiding residents through court proceedings whenever we can.
She further stated, “Over the past five years, I have been able to build positive relationships not only with county judges and attorneys, but also with county agencies such as law enforcement, social workers, district attorney’s office, county attorney’s office. , and the Executive Office. These working relationships create a more cohesive and therefore efficient judicial system.
She then added, “I have also worked closely with Theresa Russell, the current Washington County Clerk, and the judges to create efficiencies in both the probate court and the clerk’s office. More changes can be made, and I am ready and willing to continue moving forward with cross-training staff, improving procedures, and creating a more cost-effective Clerk’s Office.

In response to the question, Hogendyk said, “I have always admired the role of the Circuit Court clerk. Obtaining this role was a goal that I set myself at the start of my career. Over the years, I have acquired the training and experience necessary to make a difference in such a role. My experience has taught me the best practices for running an office. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to get involved in the community through committee meetings, which is essential in supporting the community. Most importantly, it has allowed me to help improve the justice system by working with others for the benefit of the citizens we serve. My overall experience, education, and determined work ethic make me a compelling choice. I am grateful for the opportunity to present myself as the elected clerk of the circuit court.

What professional/work experience do you have that would align with the duties of the Circuit Court Clerk?
In response to the question, Hogendyk said, “Over the past 15 years, I have worked in different government entities that all had a role in the justice system. In 2007, I started as a probation officer in the Department of Corrections. Then I worked side-by-side with attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office as a specialist and obtained progressive positions in Witness Services at the District Attorney’s Office (Manitowoc, Washington, Fond du Lac) for the next ten years. Finally, in 2018, I got my current job as Deputy Chief Clerk in the Walworth County Clerk’s Office. This position is the position directly below the elected Clerk of the Circuit Court. In my current role, I actively perform all of the duties for which the Clerk of the Circuit Court is legally responsible. Every day, I manage the day-to-day non-judicial operations of the court, scheduling, case management, financial management and event tracking, maintaining the jury system, planning facilities and communicating court actions to the public and various government agencies and simultaneously maintaining an unparalleled commitment to ensuring a just justice system through public service.

In response to the question, Adjemian said, “Before working for Washington County, I spent ten years working in Milwaukee as a paralegal. Over the years I have worked on probate, family, juvenile and civil cases. Our firm has filed cases in many counties, which let me know how many different counties operate their courts. “

She added: “As a Principal Paralegal at Petrie & Stocking, now Petrie & Petit, I also managed the firm’s client trust account and assisted with the firm’s budget. These experiences in private practice allow me to assume the budgetary responsibilities of the clerk’s office. I have an undergraduate degree from Concordia University in Justice and Public Policy, as well as a Masters in Business Administration, with concentrations in Finance and Risk Management.

She then added: ‘Since I was appointed Registrar of Estates and Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court in 2017, I have served as a probate court official, and assisted the Circuit Court Clerk managing the court office and staff. My education, past experience in private law firms, and current experience in the courts make me well qualified to serve as an effective leader for the residents of Washington County.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t mentioned?
In response to the question, Adjemian said, “I have received a lot of support in the county since I announced my candidacy. I have earned this support because I have proven myself as a hardworking and conscientious public servant to the residents of Washington County.

She then added, “I am endorsed by: Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann, Washington County Sheriff Marty Schulteis, Washington County Clerk of Circuit Court Theresa Russell, Washington County Clerk Retired Circuit Court Kristine Deiss, Retired Washington County Judge James Pouros, Rep. Rick Gundrum, 58th Assembly, Washington County Council President Jeffrey Schleif, Washington County Supervisor Christopher Bossert, Washington County Supervisor Lois Krueger-Gundrum, Retired Washington County Council Chairman Donald Kriefall, Washington County Attorney Mark Bensen, Washington County Attorney Brad Stern, West Bend Mayor Chris Jenkins.

In response to the question, Hogendyk said, “Being a single mother of two wonderful children has given me the strength to never give up, the patience to know that sometimes I can be wrong, and the experience to guide me in the right direction. direction. I graduated with honors from the University of Viterbo with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. In every position I have held, a notable aspect is the wonderful mentors I have worked with and the decades of experience that have come with them. Each mentor took the time to teach me how to lead in that department. I am forever grateful to these professionals and happy that their mentorship paved the way I am on today.

She then added, “Professionally, over the past 15 years, I’ve built my career on one simple principle: work smarter. I constantly strive to increase productivity and maximize the engagement of everyone around me. I believe in a commitment to responsible stewardship of government resources, open communication, well-measured collaborative leadership, and a strong work ethic to support and foster continued success. I feel more qualified for this position because of the many diverse roles I have held in government and more so the many communities I have served including Manitowoc, Washington, Fond du Lac and Walworth counties. . These roles have allowed me to work in a variety of settings and experience different perspectives on how other counties function and operate. I will share my experiences with Washington County to make our county the best it can be.

-Compiled by Thomas J. McKillen, Editor

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