MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says increased caseloads is leading to his request for increased staffing.
The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting that Swanson appeared before the county legislature’s public safety committee on Wednesday, telling lawmakers he’d like to increase his staff by five additional prosecutors over the next three years and will be requesting two new prosecutors in the 2018 budget.
Currently the DA’s office has nine attorneys and three investigators, one full-time and two part-time.
According to Swanson, prosecutors in his office are dealing with 100 to 200 cases a year. Annually, 7,000 criminal cases and 10,000 traffic offenses are handled by prosecutors.
Swanson said that by adding additional help to his office, he’d be able to place an attorney to deal solely with child sex crimes. He said other prosecutors added to his staff would be able to work on cases involving 16- and 17-year-olds, which are now required to be heard in Family Court per the state’s new “Raise the Age” law, which goes into effect starting in 2018.
The annual cost of adding all the new positions requested by Swanson would reportedly be about $700,000.
Of the county’s $229 million budget, about 1.5 million currently goes toward the DA office.