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County Commission Communications
A Periodic Column Written by Ed Douglas, Presiding Commissioner

MARCH 19, 2018

In a past Commission Communications' article, I wrote about the reasons the County Commission voted to put a full-time prosecutor position on the ballot for April 3rd. In this Commission Communications, I have listed these reasons and other important information in a summary format for simplicity and clarity.


A FULL TIME PROSECUTOR HELPS KEEP OUR COUNTY SAFE: A full time prosecutor is an important component for providing adequate law enforcement to keep our County safe.

THE NUMBER OF FELONY CASES IN OUR COUNTY REQUIRES A FULL- TIME PROSECUTOR: Over the last three years, our County has averaged over 210 felony cases annually. This work load requires a full- time prosecutor to effectively fulfill the job.

COUNTIES OUR SIZE OR LARGER HAVE FULL TIME PROSECUTORS: Counties our size or larger based on population, assessed valuation, and number of felony cases all have full- time prosecutors or additional prosecutor support.

A FULL TIME PROSECUTOR SAVES THE COUNTY ON JAIL COSTS: A full- time prosecutor position can help keep a lid on increasing County jail costs (per day prisoner costs) by disposing of cases expediently. This cost savings can more than offset any extra cost of having a full time prosecutor.

A FULL TIME PROSECUTOR ELIMINATES CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: A full- time prosecutor eliminates potential conflicts of interest since a full- time prosecutor can not operate a separate private practice which can lead to potential conflicts. Currently, when there is a conflict of interest, the County has to hire outside counsel which can be a significant cost to the County.

THE COUNTY COMMISSION VOTED TO PLACE THE FULL- TIME PROSECUTOR POSITION ON THE BALLOT IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR: After studying the workload of the prosecutor's position, the potential to offset increasing jail costs and comparing with other counties our size, the County Commission voted to place this issue on the ballot to ensure our county has proper representation.

FULL- TIME PROSECUTOR POSITION WOULD BEGIN JANUARY 1, 2019, IF APPROVED BY THE VOTERS: The prosecutor position is an elected position with a four- year term. The general election for the candidates is November of 2018. If the voters approve making the prosecutor position a full- time position in April, the newly elected prosecutor would begin service as a full- time prosecutor as of January 1, 2019.

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