Local News

Jun 21, 2013 8:01 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com

District Attorney Wants More Money For Prosecutors

CORPUS CHRISTI - District Attorney Mark Skurka appeared in front of the Commissioner's Court today to ask for more money, more workers, and more cars.
"It's kind of frustrating when you lose two well-known prosecutors: our gang and another prosecutor to Alice where they get paid so much more. It's frustrating for us," Skurka said to the court.

Asking for more money isn't always easy on a tight budget but that's what Skurka asked the Nueces County Commissioner's Court.

He told the Commissioners Court his investigators, attorneys and support staff earn anywhere from $5,000-$20,000, on average, less than their peers in San Patricio County, Jim Wells County and Kleberg County.

With significantly lower salaries than the surrounding areas, Skurka is finding his seasoned employees are leaving to work in other counties that pay more. That's why Skurka says the people of Nueces County should pay attention too.

"If you're house is burglarized," he posed, "would you rather have a prosecutor up there who's only been up there for 3-4 months? Or somebody who's been there for 3-4 years?"

Skurka brought up the recent and highly publicized murder trial of Laura Day to make his point to commissioners.

"I brought that up because that's what was in everybody's mind," he said, "That's an important case. We need to have seasoned experienced prosecutors to do those kind of cases."

In addition to Skurka's request for an increase of three pay grades for his office, he's also asking for permission to hire two new investigators and cars for those new hires to drive. The commissioners will host a workshop discussion after the fourth of July when they're expected to make a decision. Skurka says, in that workshop, officials will take a look at their budget and see if there's room for his requests.

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