Dear Editor,

John Nygren surprised us last week with an announcement that he was resigning his position in the State Legislature to pursue opportunities in the private sector. John has been an incredibly important resource to the people of the State of Wisconsin in general and to the people in northeast Wisconsin in particular. His leadership in attacking the drug addiction problems in our communities has been nothing short of remarkable. Throughout all of my dealings with him as a judge, he has shown a remarkable balance between supporting strongly and vigorously enforcement on the one hand and providing the tools and resources to assist addicts on the other.

He has always shown that addiction recovery is the best defense against the criminal activity of addicts. Because of John Nygren we have a Drug Court in Marinette County. I know he has supported local law enforcement and has led the effort to greatly expand treatment opportunities.

John has been very public about the effect of addiction on his own family and to his tremendous credit, he has turned his family’s personal pain to be a catalyst for extremely positive change to our entire approach to addiction. It is not often that a person can be seen to have changed the conversation of an important issue but John Nygren has not only changed the conversation about addiction problems, he raised our expectations that we could do much better and he saw to it that we had the resources to accomplish that.

I will certainly miss being able to call upon him but I would like to add my voice to the chorus of people who have thanked him for a remarkable career in public service. We are much better as a community for it.

James A. Morrison

Marinette County circuit judge