Abele on when courthouse will re-open: 'Hard to say'

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Abele on when courthouse will re-open: 'Hard to say'

By Lacey Crisp and James Kust. CREATED Jul 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 8, 2013

MILWAUKEE -- County Executive Chris Abele says there's no set date for when the Milwaukee County Courthouse might re-open.

"[It's] hard to say right now. I want to be really careful about setting any expectations there," Abele said. 

Abele claims he is focused on safety first, and that he or his staff won't rush if it puts workers at risk.

"Anytime you have any incident like this... we're not going to take any chances," Abele explained. "We're testing every area of the courthouse and safety building."

Abele refused to point fingers on what caused the weekend fire that caused the courthouse's closure, and added he would worry about that once things were once again operating normally.

"Let's just ensure this doesn't happen again," he said.

Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers says delaying so many trials and cases could create an issue.

"It's going to be a problem for us," Kremers says. "depending on how long this service is disrupted and how long the operations are down."

If you have a preliminary or intake court hearing, it will still go on at the criminal justice facility. But other criminal or civil hearings will be pushed back.

"It will be several weeks... before we work through the backlog that's been added to our system by this disaster," added Kremers.

A County Board spokesman says that if the courthouse is closed Wednesday, the board meeting will happen Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at MATC on 700 West State Street in Board Room M210.