NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Orleans Parish District Attorney is asking the City Council for more money to help his office function.
City Council is currently holding budget hearings to formulate the city spending plane for the coming year.
Last year, $600,000 was cut from District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's budget and those cuts have impacted the office's ability to do its job, Cannizzaro said.
In an exclusive interview with FOX 8, Cannizzaro said the cut forced him to reduce the number of assistant district attorneys.
As a result, misdemeanors from the municipal court had to be transferred to criminal court, Cannizzaro said. Cuts were also made to a diversion program designed to help low-level offenders avoid conviction by providing them with rehabilitation services. Heading into Wednesday's meeting, Cannizzaro hopes the council recognizes what his office is doing, especially when compared to other cities.
"I hope that the council will give us the necessary funding to keep us in line with some of the other district attorney offices in the immediate office and throughout the state of Louisiana," Cannizzaro said. "We are probably the poorest funded district attorney's office in the state of Louisiana but yet we deal with some of the most violent crime throughout this state."
Cannizzaro said the budget for NOPD is greater than the budget for his office and if police are being paid to make the arrests his office needs the money to keep criminals behind bars.