New Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann appeared before the Monroe County Board of Commissioners Monday to request additional funding for his office’s budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends Nov. 30.
Hitzemann, who was elected to the office in November when longtime state’s attorney Kris Reitz retired, noted a substantial number of open cases, some dating back a number of years.
He also pointed to a growing number of serious criminal trials slated for the near future, such as those involved in the recent meth drug bust in Waterloo.
Hitzemann asked for additional funding to upgrade Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Martin from part-time to full-time, and to hire one additional full-time administrative assistant. This would increase the state’s attorney’s office staff to two full-time attorneys and two full-time administrative assistants. This is necessary, he said, due to the growing county population and increase in drug-related crime.
The office has had the same level of staffing for an estimated 20 years, Hitzemann said. But in the past two decades, Monroe County’s population has grown from 22,400 to 34,000. He added that his research indicates the office’s staffing is in line with that of a county with a population of about 18,000 rural residents.
He compared his office with that of Randolph County as a similar population, but their office has two full-time attorneys, two full-time administrative assistants, and a substantially higher budget. Even Washington County, with a population of less than half of Monroe County’s, has a state’s attorney budget $17,000 higher, he pointed out…>>>
Additionally, The county board approved an ordinance reducing speeds on the stretch of Bluff Road from Old Bluff Road to Bottom Road that has been the scene of many crashes from 55 to 45 miles per hour, a stretch of about 1.05 miles. Signage will be posted when the change is effective…>>>
Read the rest of this story in the April 19 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here, or pick up a copy at any of these locations.