Columbia Co. District Attorney abruptly resigns

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. -- Former Columbia County District Attorney, Tristan Eagon submitted her letter of resignation on Tuesday citing disagreements with county government. Eagon mentioned in her letter of resignation about an employee filing a complaint about the District Attorney's office, and says the county never released information about what the complaint pertained to.

The Columbia County District Attorneys Office was closed Tuesday because all of staffing issues alongside with Eagon's resignation.

"It is with heavy heart and with great despair that I have rendered my decision in this matter. Weeks prior to taking office, I was met with officials at all levels of Columbia County government who appeared to be attempting to strong arm my opinion and gain favor," Eagon wrote in a letter to officials.

Columbia County Supervisor Bob Koch who is on the Judiciary Committee said he did not receive any notice about Eagon stepping down, nor did Supervisor Craig Robson. Both supervisors say they didn't get any notice that the office would close either.

WMTV obtained the resignation letter from the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

FULL LETTER:

To whom it may concern:

I am hereby resigning as District Attorney of Columbia County effective immediately. It is with a heavy heart and with great despair that I have rendered my decision in this matter. Weeks prior to taking office, I was met with officials at all levels of Columbia County government who appeared to be attempting to strong-arm my opinion and gain favor.

County officials implied that if I ever wanted to be elected I should put my own opinions aside and do as I was told. When I resisted, my otherwise perfectly functioning office was cast in a negative light. I gained no support and watched as Columbia County officials chiseled away at my office staff by refusing to fulfill repeated requests to replace vacant support staff positions, reassigning a staff member without notice, terminating one person, and most recently escorting the entire DA County support staff out of the office – all without notice or explanation. Additionally, I was notified in late February that a member of the DA’s staff had filed an alleged harassment complaint. I do not know the nature of this complaint, the people involved, the person against whom the complaint is directed, nor any factual details because Columbia County HR has never communicated with me, the head of this department, in any regard despite several attempts, including an Open Records Request that was ignored.

The County has essentially given me an ultimatum to either vacate the office or to continue to render this office completely inoperable. Playing a immoral political game is not one that I was prepared for and I strongly believe has resulted in diminished prosecution of criminal offenses, victims of crime being pushed to the side, and a toxic environment in which I no longer wish to participate. I cannot let the citizens of Columbia County go without a fully-functioning office nor can I let victims of crimes go without support because I truly do care for the safety and security of all. I feel awful for the Assistant District Attorneys that I leave behind as this was not something that should have affected them negatively; however, I have to do what is best for my family, health, and in order to preserve my integrity as a lawyer.