November 25, 2008
Criminal justice affected by budget cut
Due to a projected $90 million shortfall for 2009 in the King County General Fund, criminal justice agencies in the county are experiencing a blanket 11.4 percent budget cut.
The budget cut has caused a change in filing and disposition standards and the way the King County prosecutor's office prosecutes crimes.
According to a letter from King County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Satterberg to county police chiefs and commanders, the cut is equivalent to 41 of the 190 deputy prosecutors paid for by the general fund.
"I had 27 more people working for me in April than I do now," Satterberg said.
The changes forced by the budget crunch went into effect Oct. 6 and affect the line between felonies and misdemeanors in property and drug crimes.
Property crimes with damages less than $1000 will no longer be considered felonies and will be sent to the municipal prosecutor, not the county prosecutor. [Mark Godsey]
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