New DA Says Office Left in “Deep state of Neglect”

February 1, 2013

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia


New Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White says the office he inherited is filled with years of backlogged cases.

White attended the Franklin County Board of Commissioners work session earlier this week to ask them for extra funding to supplement the salary of his new Chief Assistant District Attorney.

White told the board the office of the District Attorney is in what he called, quote, “a deep state of neglect.”

“The backlogs are massive. The cases go back four, five, six, and in some cases 10 years. The evidence is stale. This office has not been performing in any way to serve the community and fixing that is going to be a Herculean effort,” White said Tuesday.

He said the five-county Northern Judicial Circuit has more open cases still waiting to be adjudicated than the City of Augusta, whose population is five times as large.

“The Augusta Circuit from which I had been prosecuting has about 500,000 people total and there are 28 assistant district attorneys in that circuit,” White said. “And this circuit has more open cases than Augusta does, with five assistant district attorneys and about a fifth of the population.”

White said he is replacing an assistant district attorney with an ADA from Augusta who will become his Chief Assistant District Attorney.

White said the new Chief ADA will begin work February 7th.   According to Franklin County manager Billy Morse, White is asking the county for $1,998.87.

White said so far, Elbert, Hart, and Madison counties have agreed to kick in extra funding and he expects Oglethorpe County to agree by the end of the week.