Tuscaloosa Co. DA's office turning to the city for money - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


Tuscaloosa Co. DA's office turning to the city for money

Source: WBRC Source: WBRC

For the first time ever, the Tuscaloosa County district attorney's office is asking the City of Tuscaloosa to contribute to their budget.

Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb broke down their financial situation very straight forward.

He said they’re asking the city for the bare minimum which is about $150,000 to keep their office a float since the state continues to decrease their funding.

“It's unfortunate though that the state has failed in my opinion to meet its obligation and we are required then instead to ask our local government leaders for assistance,” said Webb.

District Attorney Webb said his office received $1.2 million from the state in the 2008 to 2009 fiscal year. 

“The problem is the state is not going to feel the effect if our office doesn't stay opened, if our office is not able to properly prosecute cases, you know it's going to fall upon the locals,” said Webb.

With cut backs, they've lost $600,000 in funding from the state, leaving them with less than $500,000 to work with this year.

The national average for felony case workloads is 150 per lawyer a year. His office is working about 400 felony cases to each lawyer annually.

“If there is a lawyer out it is felt throughout the office and literally throughout the courthouse,” said Webb.

However, Webb explains they manage their office well with the budget they have.

“Certainly, I'm not claiming crisis yet,” said Webb.

But he is saying, most of their money supports their payroll and when funding is cut that’s in jeopardy.

“It's that any failure that happens and it's going to fall into pieces,” Webb.

And although they do get a portion of court costs and other fees, it's hard to pin point how much.

“Sixty-eight percent of our budget comes from a completely unstable, uncertain, indeterminate source.

His office has already asked the Tuscaloosa County commission for $600,000.

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