Wayne County Prosecutor pleas for more money for office - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Wayne County Prosecutor pleas for more money for office

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By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News

Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, met with the commissioners pleading her case to tell them why her office can't survive on the money budgeted her office.  It's 9 million dollars less than she was planning on.

"Just ignore it.  Just ignore the agreement," says Worthy.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy claims that's what Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano said after her office spent nearly a year proving where the dollars go and why it needs the nearly 34 million dollars they agreed upon to effectively prosecute cases.

"A cut from 34 million that you were promised to 25 million it is absurd.  I've looked and I've never seen any department that has taken cuts like this," says Wayne County Commissioner, Irma Clark-Coleman.

"The officer who is responsible in that role in this county did not keep his word and did not do anything to fix the situation," says Worthy.

Worthy is in the process of suing the county to stop the budget cuts.  With already 50 unfilled positions, her office is forced to lay off 26 more prosecutors last week.  No money she says, no prosecutions, and severe delays in bringing cases to trial, pointing to the murder of Grosse Pointe Park mom Jane Bashara.

"I can give you a number of cases that wouldn't have been prosecuted with the staff I have now.  Kwame Kilpatrick would never have been prosecuted with the staff I have now," says Worthy.

"My problem is it's hard to negotiate with someone who is suing me... would you consider dropping this court action and dealing with the commission," asked Kevin McNamara, Wayne County Commissioner.

Worthy never answered directly.  Some commissioners who just learned how dire the situation is are sympathetic.  But Wayne County Commissioner Chair, Gary Woronchak, says there's not much they can do.  Although the budget could be amended and Fox 2 has exposed some frivolous spending within the county, Woronchak claims there is no more money.

"No emergency money that we have that we can slide into her budget to make up for that. So were in a tough spot right now with this and as long as we are in court she is not likely to be taking steps to curb the spending," says Woronchak.

The county claims they tried to work with Worthy giving her a portion of the money that she wanted but she wouldn't budge.  They said Worthy wanted all the money or nothing at all.

Both sides are expected in court on Thursday.

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