Department will not prosecute some misdemeanors because of cuts

Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 18:48:33-04

Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman told 23ABC the upcoming five percent budget cut resulted in the department losing three vacant positions.

All three attorneys were part of the misdemeanor unit, which shrinks from eight people to five. A handful of other positions were cut within the department as well.

Due to the cuts, the department will not prosecute some misdemeanor cases.

"They're the quality of life crimes, the lowest level misdemeanor cases", Spielman said.

Spielman says those positions had to be cut because they will not sacrifice attorneys working on the felony crimes like murder, rape and burgulary. He added that there is some concern of not prosecuting all crimes, regardless of how low level they may seem.

"Those low level offenders tend to move on to other things and when they're not being prosecuted for the lowest level crimes, then what's to prevent them from thinking I can do these other crimes and no one seems to care", Spielman said.

Spielman says the department will continue to prosecute felonies aggressively, regardless of the budget cuts, but the lack of funding for public safety should not fly under the radar.

"I don't think it's reached the point where it's Armegeddon, but we're going down a very bad road," Spielman said.
"There is less emphasis on public safety. There's less funds being given to public safety, just to try to address, to keep up with what is occurring."