Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy speaks out about layoffs

Worthy speaks to media during press conference Wednesday

DETROIT - Facing across-the-board cuts, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy said layoffs in her office and their effects on the public's safety is something that makes every day like "triage."

"I just don't have the people ... I can't clone people," Worthy said Wednesday during a press conference. "Every day is like triage, trying to figure out which is more important."

Worthy said she isn't in a "feud" or "dispute" with County Executive Robert Ficano, but said she doesn't understand where his numbers are coming from. She said she's even filed FOIA requests to find out where the numbers are coming from and how they are calculated.

Worthy said Ficano's cuts means her office will lose 22 assistant prosecutors, three investigators and a weekend clerical staff.
Worthy is openly against the cuts and says public safety is endangered because of them.

She said her office is backlogged in several key areas - like sexual assault and homicide.

She said her office doesn't have the resources to cover traffic and PPO dockets.

On Monday and Tuesday, some cases in 36th District Court were dismissed or adjourned after some prosecutors didn't show up. Drunken driving and suspended license cases are among those involved, and Worthy has warned other cases might not be covered.

What the county is saying:

Ficano has said Worthy is over budget.

He said she's using a "scare tactic" when calling the cuts a danger to public safety.

Worthy said it's "disingenuous and disgusting" to think she's pulling a ploy or has a personal issue with Ficano.

"This is real," she said. "This is what we have to deal with because of what we've been dealt."

Last year, Ficano proposed a $25.6 million budget for Worthy's office. Worthy sued, saying she was promised at least $34 million.

READ: Worthy, Ficano agreement from 2010

Worthy said she's always willing to talk to Ficano about a "reasonable" solution, but hasn't ever had a direct conversation with him.

Read more: Wayne County executive defends Prosecutor Office cuts

ClickOnDetroit.com will livestream Worthy's 10 a.m. news conference.

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