Wayne County executive defends Prosecutor Office cuts

Published On: Mar 18 2013 05:22:06 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 18 2013 06:25:50 PM EDT

Just days after 22 prosecutors were laid off in Wayne County, courts are starting to see the impact.

DETROIT -

A budget battle between Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy could mean potential courtroom chaos.

Last week, 26 employees at the Prosecutor's Office were laid off. That included 22 attorneys, three investigators and a clerical position.

Worthy argues due to the cuts her office won't have enough people to handle all the cases. Ficano doesn't agree with Worthy's warning.

"At this point I think it's a scare tactic," the county executive said.

However, the Prosecutor's Office insists the bottom line is there are not enough people to handle all the cases.

Read more: Wayne County prosecutor says cuts endanger public safety

"The biggest loser in this case are the citizens," said legal expert Todd Flood. "When you think about this, you have cases that need to be investigated and prosecuted that are sitting in the back log."

No one from the Prosecutor's Office was available to comment on Monday. However, courtroom insiders tell the Local 4 Defenders they are concerned. They say there are simply not enough people to handle and cover cases regarding domestic violence, and even traffic court dockets could be cut.

Ficano defends the cuts.

"(Worthy) was given a budget and she is overspending her budget right now. The moves that we're making in our department is within our budget," he said.

However, Ficano has come under fire for allegedly using more county money for his personal protection.

Read: Ficano's bid for new driver draws criticism

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