Philly D.A. says he needs more money just to keep existing programs going

Philadelphia’s District Attorney says his department will have to cut back what it does to live with Mayor Nutter’s proposed budget. 

D.A. Seth Williams says arbitration awards and raises that he must pay will eat into his budget. Without another $2.75 million above the mayor’s proposed budget, he will have to cut back on specialized programs.

“I have directed my first assistant to prepare for the elimination for the small amounts of marijuana and accelerated misdemeanor diversionary programs effective July 1 2013, in addition the elder justice may be folded into the zone prosecution system,” said Williams. “Some members of the public nuisance task force might have to be assigned to the trial division.”

Williams, who is running for re-election this year, says he cannot sustain his office with the proposed budget.

City budget director Rebecca Rhynhart says the Nutter administration never intended to force the D.A. to cut in order to cover raises mandated by arbitration awards.

“We gave them funding for the two and a half percent increase,” she said, “I’m happy to talk for the [Fraternal Order of Police] increase for detectives.”

Williams says he was not consulted in putting his budget together. The Nutter administration says that’s not true.

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