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 earlier this week, White told the Hart County Board of Commissioners that the Northeast Circuit has a much bigger backlog than the district he served in Augusta.
“This circuit covers five counties with 110,000 people. Augusta, where I was practicing before was a three-county circuit with approximately 500,000 people in it,” White told the board. “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, 241 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.
White said 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 that will save money.
“We’re working on a Cloud drive that will allow us to furnish discovery to defense counsel so that within days of receiving the file we have the matter indicted,” White said. “We’re obtaining high-speed scanners for the four offices so secretaries can scan discovery and upload it electronically and defense counsel can print it off without having to use toner and printers.”
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.
The board voted unanimously to approve the extra $2,200 for the new chief ADA and in a separate motion unanimously approved the use of a county vehicle for the DA staff.