The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Riverside County DA Response to "Riverside County Tells DA to Work Together to Increase Efficiency"

MIKE HESTRINGuest Opinion by MIKE HESTRIN, Riverside District Attorney
To The Desert Independent

August 2, 2016

The news release issued on July 28, 2016 (Riverside County Tells DA to Work Together to Increase Efficiency), by the county once again highlights the lack of communication between the Executive Office and the Board of Supervisors as well as a misunderstanding of what our office does. The District Attorney’s Office has been in consistent communication and had several meetings over the last months and weeks with the Executive Office, and we had already scheduled a meeting next week to discuss cuts and additional solutions to pay for payroll and services.

We have repeatedly provided the Executive Office with the needed cuts to services that would have to occur to find the $12.25 million necessary to maintain our existing staffing needs and public safety services, and provided the Chairman and other Board members with a budget book setting out our planned cuts should there be no additional funding available. This is not new information.

To contain overtime costs which will help stave off layoffs, the District Attorney’s Office restricted search warrant reviews to office hours and suspended all paid off-duty and nighttime search warrant reviews previously provided as a courtesy to our law enforcement partners and judges. These cuts are projected to save more than $500,000. When we are looking at not being able to make payroll, we cannot justify providing courtesy prosecution services. Search warrant reviews are not legally mandated and are not provided by all county DA’s offices.

Should our budget situation change, we will immediately restore those prosecution services that we can afford. We also suspended all paid overtime pay for deputy district attorney call-outs to homicide and officer-involved shooting scenes. Because county negotiated MOUs require payment for search warrant and homicide pager duty and nighttime and off-duty responses to homicide and officer-involved shooting scenes, members of our management team are now volunteering to assume these additional work responsibilities throughout the county. This is just the first in a series of steps our office will be taking in order to try to meet our budget and close the unfunded $12.25 million inherited structural deficit, while continuing to protect the communities we serve.

Politicizing the funding crisis in public safety and hurling insults during public meetings and in county news releases does not serve what should be our mutual goal to find savings while protecting public safety.

Riverside County District Attorney’s Office
3960 Orange St.
Riverside, Cal. 92501

Office: (951) 955-8662
Twitter: @RivCoDA

The opinions expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of The Desert Independent, LLC.

Please refer all comments to The Desert Independent's Facebook Page.

Contact Us    Advertising    Terms    Submit an Article    Have a News Idea?

Copyright © 2008-2019All Rights Reserved, The Desert Independent, LLC