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District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez requests $150,000 to retain clerical staff from next year’s budget

Nicole Jordan

It’s not the first time DA Gonzalez has asked to increase her office’s portion of the county budget.

Last year, Gonzalez requested extra funds for an anti-gang prosecutorial team. Commissioners denied this request and encouraged the DA’s office to fill the nine assistant district attorney (ADA) positions that were vacant last year.

At last night’s budget meeting, Gonzalez reported that staffing levels were up from last year, though vacancies remain.

“I am very proud to say that we had a full day of training for 6 ADAs that have joined our office in the past two weeks. And that has brought us back to the point where we were when I first walked in with 5 vacancies.”

She blamed staffing issues on a nation-wide prosecutorial shortage.

She also warned that as American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, funding runs out, her office will lose vital support positions that perform clerical work.

“That is one of the reasons why were able to keep up, was because we were using these individuals to do that preparation as legal assistants, as legal apprentices, which is why I’m asking that you fund them.”

She encouraged Commissioners to include $150,000 to help her office retain legal assistants and address the backlog of cases that continues to grow.

“Again, if you put resources into these things, you are going to get results. A budget is a moral document. Tell me where you put your money and I’ll tell you where your values are.”

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