District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says he has serious budget concerns for next year.
Cannizzaro says under the current budget, he'll be forced to lay off between 10 and 20 percent of his staff next year. He's also worried about losing some critical programs that benefit the community.
Cannizzaro is asking the City Council for an additional $600,000 to keep his staff and give them some much-needed pay raises. He's also proposing taking over all Municipal Court and Traffic Court prosecutions, which would give his office the $800,000 already allotted to the City Attorney's Office.
"It appears the proposed 2015 budget calls for 14 new positions in the City Attorney's Office. In light of the fact that the DA's office is already prosecuting state cases in Municipal Court, we believe we could accomplish this with no more than five additional people," says Cannizzaro.
Cannizzaro pointed out that Orleans is the only parish where the DA's office doesn't handle Traffic Court cases.
He also wants the NOPD to begin writing traffic violations using state statutes instead of municipal codes. He says if that changes, his office would receive $20 from fines associated with each ticket.