Chatham County DA asking for more resources

Chatham County DA asking for more resources

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s anticipated that the Chatham County Commission will adopt next year’s budget in the next few days.

Some non-profits and government agencies are still hoping to get funding for resources they’ve requested over the past few weeks as the commission and county staff work through the budget process.

District Attorney Meg Heap is looking for an additional assistant district attorney and a legal secretary. Those two additional personnel could mean a savings in taxpayer dollars.

“So let’s say if a case was continued, where a guy was in jail, an inmate was in jail, out four months. It would cost $8,500 for that continuance of four months. We added this up. What I would like to do, I’m asking for one more prosecutor. If I do, I can reorganize it and put three prosecutors in each of the other felony divisions Superior Court judges," Heap said.

Heap told commissioners she realizes that seems like a lot, but she added the additional prosecutor would be able to handle the aggravated assault and domestic violence jail cases.

“We can streamline them. Instead of covering two courtrooms, you have one, and you can process these cases, and ultimately, they either go to prison, they’re probated or they, whatever happens to the case, they’re out of it," she said.

“Your level of influence with the current chief executive in the state, I would suggest, I would like to ask, would you consider lobbying him to increase the number of state-funded assistant DA’s based on not just Superior Court judges, but case load, as well as Superior Court judges," asked Chairman, Al Scott, Chatham County Commission.

“If it would get me more people to help me do my job, yes, I would," Heap replied.

Commission is expected to adopt the 2020 budget this Friday.

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