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County supports full-time district attorney   ADVERTISEMENT

County supports full-time district attorney

YATES COUNTY—The Yates County public safety committee decided they wished to retain a full-time district attorney (DA) during their meeting Monday, April 1. The subject originated from discussions about potentially switching the District Attorney Jason Cook back to a part-time position during legislative budget meetings last fall as a means for cost savings.
County Administrator Sarah Purdy said she looked up what would be necessary to change the position back to part-time after discussion of the subject last month. She said this request is in no way a reflection of the performance of the district attorney and does not reflect the intention of the legislature as a whole. Purdy said while it would be possible to go back to part-time, she recommends it remains a full-time position.
Purdy said in order to revert the position back to part time, the legislature would have to repeal a local law passed in 2001 making it full-time and then pass another local law establishing a part-time district attorney. She said if the legislature did decide to pursue this idea, she recommends making it effective Jan. 1, 2014 to avoid a referendum period. Purdy also said the legislature would need to make it clear to anybody running for the position it would only be a part-time job.
“I think it is pretty obvious we need a full-time DA,” Legislator Tim Dennis said. He said the idea was looked at as a way to avoid an unfunded mandate from the state increasing the district attorney’s salary. Dennis also asked if the county did go back to a part-time district attorney, how many more assistant district attorneys would be necessary to do the job?
Committee Chair Donna Alexander agreed, saying it would “have a devastating effect on public safety.” Legislator Robert Multer said the move to a full-time job in 2001 was well justified, and while the idea is “good politics,” it would not be in the best interest of the county. No other legislator voiced an interest in continuing discussion in support of a part-time district attorney.
In other business:
• Sheriff Ron Spike went over his 2012 annual report highlighting certain incidents that happened throughout the year, including a meth lab bust in Starkey, two subjects who barricaded themselves inside their home in Penn Yan, two drug take-back events and becoming one of four jails in the state that is fully accredited. Spike also noted the number of marine patrol vessels inspected at 3,557, saying these include visual inspections, not all of them resulting in stops.
• The committee agreed to recognize Sunday, April 21 through Saturday, April 27 as National Crime Victims Rights Week. The board also approved an additional 30 day extension for a temporary corrections officer position to reduce overtime costs.

 

 

 



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