The Rapides Parish DA and the police jury were in court yesterday over funding issues. The police jury has cut $700,000 from the DA’s budget, saying his Pre-trial Intervention Program is driving the jury broke.
The presiding judge granted a motion from the police jury, which delays any trial on the merits of the case.
Meanwhile, DA Phillip Terrell is circulating information from the police jury’s latest audit, which purports to show the jury has more than four million dollars in its coffers and is not about to go bust.
Below is the statement released by District Attorney Phillip Terrell’s office yesterday about the case:
(Press Release) Alexandria, LA – District Attorney Phillip Terrell appeared in court early this morning prepared to present his case that the Rapides Police Jury has ignored its legal obligation to adequately fund the District Attorney’s office for years. Unfortunately, the Court’s ruling this morning only delays this hearing and leaves the citizens of Rapides Parish uncertain if its criminal justice system will finally be adequately funded.
DA Terrell was eager to present evidence that would disprove the Police Jury’s specious allegations that the District Attorney’s highly successful Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program is diverting money from the general fund. Today’s hearing would have been the Court’s first opportunity to view this evidence. Furthermore, the DA’s office was prepared to present undeniable evidence that the Police Jury is sitting on a more than a $4 million fund balance that could be used to more than adequately fund this parish’s over-burdened criminal justice system. Attached to this release is a page from the Rapides Police Jury’s recently released 2017 audit showing that the General Fund has a balance of $4,232,304.
Unfortunately, today’s delay causes uncertainty for the hard working men and women of the District Attorney’s office who struggle on a daily basis to keep the criminal justice system running. It also threatens the ability of the DA’s office and the entire criminal justice system to protect the citizens of Rapides from rising levels of violent crime.
While the District Attorney is disappointed in this delay, he remains steadfast in his resolve to continue his fight to ensure that his office is adequately funded in a manner that will allow it to address the present levels of crime.
KLAX ABC 31 News 8/3/18