DA requests money from county budget to keep prosectutors

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Recent headlines reported that District Attorney Pete Hautzinger threatened to sue the Mesa County commission if the DA's office saw a five-percent budget cut.

At the County Commissioners budget meeting, County Administrator Tom Fisher presented the proposed budget and highlighted the DA would only see a 1.5-percent cut.

Hautzinger said a law suit is not on the table, but his biggest concern is the high turnover rate at the DA's office and wants the Commissioners to consider that when making their decision about the budget.

"The bottom line is I have 20 authorized attorney positions and I've lost 20 people in the last five years that's 100-percent turnover," Hautzinger.

The overall proposed budget for 2014 is $148,000,000, which is a 6.2-percent decrease from this year's $157,000,000 budget.

That's to blame on the projected $2.3 million decrease in property tax for 2014 as well as a decrease in sales tax. Due to the declines, there will be countywide cuts including at the DA's office, but Commissioner Rose Pugliese said she understands Hautzinger's concerns.

"If we can find other areas that either we can privatize or move out of the budget I think we can come up with some money," Pugliese.

A final decision on the budget is set to be made by December 9th.

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