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D.A. Moore: We need more money

4 years ago August 11, 2011 Aug 11, 2011 Thursday, August 11 2011 Thursday, August 11, 2011 5:28:48 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Michael Shingleton

BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office needs more money.

For years they've had to dip into reserve funds to the tune of $300,000 to $500,000 a year just to make payments to employee benefits. Their reserve account is dwindling fast. Moore said it's currently $3 million and will be $2.5 million very soon.

"We know we're going down a road that will eventually end and so we need some additional funding. Within a year or two we're gonna be in a critical position if we don't receive some additional funding," Moore said.

The proposal calls for an additional $5 million dollars to operate effectively.

With the creation of the Violent Crimes Unit, one prosecutor and three investigators joined the team to assist in fighting crime. Those positions were never filled in the D.A.'s office yet the their salaries continued to be paid by the operating budget of the district attorney. Not only does Moore want those positions filled, he said the VCU needs three more prosecutors and a paralegal to keep up with demand.

Family courts added two additional judges, yet the number of prosecutors stayed the same.

Between 2008 and 2010, the number of trials prosecuted increased by 24%, yet the number of prosecutors remained the same. Moore said his prosecutors are stretched thin.

"It's difficult. I mean the workload that they have is tremendous. It surely would help to have additional bodies to spread the amount of work that we have," Moore said.

Moore could propose a tax for the November ballot that would ask voters for a 1.75 mil property tax increase which comes out to about $12 a year for those who qualify. But he wants to wait and see if city leaders propose a similar "crime fighting proposal" that includes his needs.

"I would like to go at the same time or be incorporated in some sort of public safety measure that the council and the mayor might come up with," Moore said.

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