Efforts to switch departing personnel, as nicely as provide on new workforce, at the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Business office hit a velocity bump this week. The new staff members are meant to tackle a backlog of felony scenarios resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
All through an Oct. 19 assessment on the drop 2021 supplemental finances, Clark County Councilor Gary Medvigy asked to have the office’s ask for for American Rescue Prepare Act funds removed from thought. That ask for was accredited in a 3-2 vote.
But the county council had formerly accepted Prosecuting Lawyer Tony Golik’s request to hire 11 comprehensive-time workforce and the place of work experienced already started employing team.
Medvigy reported he experienced a ton of thoughts about the ask for, like what was producing the backlog, no matter if it was the pandemic or a final result of the Blake choice. In February, the Washington Supreme Court dominated in Condition v. Blake that the state’s felony drug possession statute was unconstitutional and void.
As a result, men and women formerly convicted of very simple drug possession could have those convictions dismissed and could also file to have service fees paid out to attorneys reimbursed.
“We just cannot quite possibly get a actually very good estimate on the backlog mainly because of that determination,” Medvigy stated. “We’ve also heard about pandemic delays in trials and how which is disrupted the criminal justice technique. … I believe we’re heading to have an overlap in between the backlog from Blake and the backlog in trials not remaining in a position to go out.”
In accordance to the funding request, the place of work is asking for just over $1.4 million to shell out for salaries, advantages, materials and tools charges. Practically $114,000 of that amount of money would go to indigent protection.
Councilors Julie Olson and Temple Lentz disagreed with rescinding the council’s prior approval.
“I would not recommend we pause on something that’s already been accepted by the council,” Olson reported. “We have victims that want their cases adjudicated.”
Olson stated the shift would also established a bad precedent and undermine employees’ assurance in the council.
“If we do this, I would concern the reliability of this council likely forward, and how workers would reply if we approve it, give them the go-forward and then not do the function to set it into the finances,” Olson reported.
Due to the fact that conference, Golik mentioned he satisfied with Medvigy to further discuss the office’s needs.
“We’re on the exact same webpage, centered on our conversations,” Golik stated. “The (American Rescue Program Act) funding is the appropriate source to use.”
Golik explained the ask for will go back in advance of the council on Nov. 16, and he has each individual expectation it will be approved.