County Commission and District Attorney Settle Case
February 01, 2017
On Wednesday, February 1, the Mobile County Commission and the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office reached an agreement to settle the dispute regarding the annual funding appropriation to the District Attorney’s Office.
“We have worked through these complicated and far-reaching issues for the past five years and now we believe - and the Judge has agreed - that this is best solution for all involved,” explained Commission President Merceria Ludgood.
The County will now contribute an additional $1.2 million annually to the $1.5 million we have been contributing to the District Attorney for the last decade and a half. This additional funding is intended to improve the District Attorney’s ability to keep up with the prosecutorial function they are required by law to carry out and it will give them the necessary resources to do so.
District Attorney Offices are State agencies and the State is the primary funding source for the District Attorneys throughout the state. In light of significant cuts in State funding over the past decades it became apparent that local funding was needed in addition to the State funding. Two local acts were passed in the 1980s mandating the County to contribute toward the funding of the District Attorney’s Office, but over time those acts became obsolete and ambiguous. It was necessary to litigate to arrive at a clear understanding of the County’s responsibility.
“As we litigated this matter, we found it critical to balance the needs of the District Attorney’s Office with the directive of the County Commissioners to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Ludgood said. “We have carefully examined the County budget and how this additional $1.2 million annual expense will affect it. We believe we will be able to provide services we are required to provide the citizens of Mobile County and to provide regular salary adjustments to our employees as long as the economy keeps growing.”