Only Local 4 cameras were there Tuesday when Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy explained just how bad things are at the county Prosecutor's Office.
"We were going to private corporations asking for money to fund the office, to the insurance companies, to DTE, to other companies as well. In fact we're still in negotiations with others," Worthy said.
Worthy claims it is impossible to do the mandated work on the money allotted. She pulled no punches saying the county's safety is in jeopardy. Her budget was cut from $35 million a year to $25 million. She has argued the county executive promised her a bigger budget this year. After she sued, county Executive Robert Ficano made a settlement for her to receive more than $7 million.
"We have backlogs in child abuse of 125 warrants. In sexual assault, 96. Domestic violence, 38, and elder abuse 4," the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor pleaded with the Wayne County Commission to back the negotiated settlement with the county executive and his law team.
"It is actually approving a deficit spend. That's what we will be doing," said Commissioner Laura Cox.
Commissioners, knowing the county is on the edge of emergency management, were not interested in hearing how it would to find $7 million-plus elsewhere in the budget.
They said no to accepting the settlement. Commissioner Tim Killeen said the entire county budget needs an overhaul.
"Just giving everybody a haircut when everybody's bald to begin with, right? And to cripple everything else in the county when there are these other issues that we have not dealt with yet," Killeen said.
The Commission will meet Wednesday for the official vote. Meanwhile, the settlement must go back to the judge in the case where she will hear how the prosecutor spends the money, see where she might cut and then decide whether the county has to fork over the money.