More money needed to pay for lawyers, jail inmates

PLYMOUTH - There is at least one business in Marshall County that is booming - law enforcement.

The Marshall County Council heard a group of additional appropriation requests from both the courts and the Sheriff’s Department at their regular meeting on Monday.

Superior Court I Judge Robert Bowen came before the Council with a request for more money for “Pauper Council”. Each defendant in a court case has a constitutional right to a lawyer, and if the accused cannot afford one he is given a public defender, paid for by the county.

Bowen told the Council an increase in case load has caused a shortfall in the budget line item to provide for public defender’s salaries. He said that while his original request was for $50,000 in additional funds he had taken a harder look at the numbers and felt that $45,000 would likely enable the courts to complete the year.

Marshall County Sheriff’s Captain Dan Butt also came before the Council on behalf of Sheriff Tom Chamberlin seeking an increase in money to feed prisoners at the Marshall County Jail.

Again an increase in the number of prisoners coupled with a similar increase in food prices, has made the additional funds necessary in spite of cost cutting measures by the Sheriff’s Department. While the projected current need for the rest of the year is $82,000 Butt reported that the Department had shifted funds from several other line items making the final need of $32,000 additional suggested to be taken out of either the general fund or the Special CAGIT (County Adjusted Gross Income Tax) fund for the jail.

(Additional details to this story are available in the print edition of the June 12, 2013 Pilot News.)