By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
New Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White will get his funding from Hart County to supplement the salary of his new chief assistant DA.
At their regular meeting Tuesday evening, White told the Hart County Board of Commissioners that after two months in office, his staff is literally drowning in backlogged cases.
“This circuit covers five counties with 110,000 people,” said White. “Augusta, where I was practicing before was a three-county circuit with approximately 500,000 people in it. There are 20 assistant district attorneys in Augusta handling all of their caseload for those 500,000 people. There are about 1,800 pending cases in Augusta. In the Northern Judicial Circuit, we have 3,2414 pending cases right now with five assistant district attorneys. So, we’re kinda drowning.”
White asked the County for additional $2,200 for the Chief ADA, but also said no changes or upgrades to the DA’s office equipment have been made in at least 16 years.
According to White, the $23,800 the five counties contribute annually is no longer enough.
White said he’s in the process of upgrading the office phone system and the Internet, which he said will save the District money, but he’s also making other changes to the office he said will save the county money.
White also asked the board for the use of a county vehicle for his staff.
He said he has done so much traveling in the past two months, he now owes the State thousands in travel expenses.
After hearing from White, Hart County Commission Chair Bill Meyers said he fully supports White’s efforts.
Meanwhile, Hart County Commissioner Dan Reyen praised White for his hard work since taking over the DA’s office.
The Hart County Commission voted unanimously to approve the extra $2,200 for the new chief ADA and in a separate motion, also unanimously approved the use of a county vehicle for the DA staff.
In addition, Franklin County Commissioners approved kicking in $1,997 to supplement the salary of the new Chief ADA last month.