Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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EBR district attorney's office fights for security, paychecks

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BATON ROUGE - The cash-strapped East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney's office says if they don't get more money by this summer their employees might not get paid, and said they needed additional funds from the city to keep operations afloat.

The district attorney's office currently has a $13 million budget that comes from the city-parish and self-generated funds. In the past when earnings didn't cover spending they would dip into their fund balance or savings, but that fund has been depleted and the office needs more money.

"Our fund balance has been declining," said District Attorney Hillar Moore. "There's a possibility we won't be able to pay the entire balance that day."

The district attorney's office has been pulling from that savings for years, knowing it would eventually come to an end.

"If that means city-parish needs to contribute more because their revenues are dropping for whatever reason then we need to look at that and make sure that makes sense," said Metro Council member John Delgado. He says if the district attorney's office knew that was happening, officials should have asked for money sooner and paid attention to spending.

"Obviously that's something they need to look at in terms of cutting their own budget," Delgado said.

"We have cut as much as we can cut," Moore argues. "We've cut cars, we've cut insurance, we've looked at the toners we use in our printers."

Moore says they're also desperately in need of a new building, facing security risks on a daily basis.

"It just so happens to be at the same time when we're having other issues like security and trying to fund a new building," Moore said. "There's just no easy answer."

The public defender's office is also seeking aid, after depleting their fund balance trying to keep their head, financially, above water as well.



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