Peterson takes helm of Lincoln County Clerk of Courts office
After 15 years in the field of corrections, Merrill native Marie Peterson is taking on a new challenge as Lincoln County Clerk of Court. Peterson was appointed to replace Cindy Kimmons, who retired Jan. 8 after 20 years in the office. She was sworn into office Jan. 15.
“I felt I needed a change and a different challenge,” Peterson said. “I saw this role and being that, and then some.”
Coming for a corrections background, Peterson is transitioning from one end of the justice system to the other.
“I know post conviction,” she said. “The whole process from charge to conviction, I’ve seen very little on that side.”
Peterson supervises a staff of seven in the office.
“There’s a great group of women in here who are very knowledgeable,” she said.
Peterson comes in at the early stage of a process to digitize all of Lincoln County’s case files. The statewide initiative will make all clerk of courts offices paperless.
“It will be a transition,” Peterson said. “It’s a good time for me to come in at the early stages.”
Marie was born and raised in Merrill. After college, she started working in Minnesota at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing. She worked in various corrections jobs in Minnesota until 2006, when she moved back to Wisconsin to take a program director position at Stanley Correctional Institution. She transferred to Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility in 2008.
Feeling the pull of home and family, Marie and her husband, Chris, also a Merrill native, moved back to Merrill in 2012. Marie had been working in the Probation and Parole office in Marathon County prior to being appointed Lincoln County Clerk of Court.
It was important to Chris and Marie for their daughter to grow up around her extended family.
“That experience has been wonderful,” she said. “Both of our families are very rooted in Lincoln County.”
Peterson will get her first taste of politics in her new position. The Clerk of Court office comes up for election every four years. As Kimmons retired with three years remaining in her current term, Peterson won’t have to run for election until 2018.
“I will have time to learn the position and demonstrate by ability to hold the position,” Peterson said.
“I’m very excited about this role,” she added. “I’s a wonderful opportunity and I have wonderful support in this office. Everyone has been very welcoming.”