Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Purvis attacks Supes over raises

Public Defender Michelle Purvis attacked the Hinds County Board of Supervisors last week over a large raise the board gave to a prosecutor and demanded raises totaling $400,000 for her defenders.

The Board of Supervisors approved a request by District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith to give a $21,000 raise to a senior prosecutor.  Ms. Purvis told the board the law required the same rate of pay for prosecutors and public defenders.  She said the board violated the law, as there was a disparity between the two groups of attorneys.  She also said the prosecutor in question had less than five years of experience.  She called the action a "slap in the face to every public defender".  Ms. Purvis argued the board should give each one of her attorneys a similar raise.  The board declined to do so as Supervisor Robert Graham told Ms. Purvis "we will wind up giving a person a raise today and laying him off next month."

The state pays most of the salaries for prosecutors but the county pays the salaries of the public defenders.  Ms. Purvis demanded several times the board give raises to the public defenders as she argued public defenders and prosecutors should be paid at the same level (no argument here about that idea).  The board declined to take action. 


Anonymous said...

Help me out here, is Ms. Purvis correct in stating that the law requires the pay to be equal? If so, why didn't the board attorney inform his client of such? Won't they have to rescind the raise if they violated the law?

Honesty Down said...

The current board will find out what, if anything, has gone wrong and fix it. The previous board headed up by Lt. Robert Graham of the Jackson Police Department didn't give a damn about the truth nor the law.

Lt. Graham: "I'm a little but unusual type of police officer. The reason why I'm kind of unusual is every time the chief would put me on the street, I would mess up bad enough for them to put me back in dispatch."

Jane said...

§ 25-32-7. Office and office expenses; payment of compensation and expenses

The public defender shall be provided with office space, secretarial assistance, and all reasonable expenses of operating the office, at least equal to or more than the county prosecuting attorney, or the district attorney if the public defender represents the entire circuit court district. The compensation and expenses of the public defender's office shall be paid by the county or counties if two (2) or more counties are acting jointly. The funds shall be paid upon allowance by the board of supervisors by order spread upon the minutes of the board.

Anonymous said...

While I'm glad you agree in her position, I'm sad to see you characterize her request as an "attack"

How about Supervisor Greer telling her that since her office simply "baby-sits files", he questioned the need to raise anyone's salary...

He obviously has no idea how the system works.

When someone questions the integrity and work ethic of someone else, defending one's self should never be described as an attack.

Anonymous said...

I don't see that the statute requires subordinate prosecutors/defenders to be paid at the same rates, though I think that's how it *should* be.

Anonymous said...

Giving a prosecutor a $21,000 raise sounds outrageous.

Anonymous said...

wrong statute Jane. 7 is about office expenses, not salaries. see 25-32-5. There is no provision as to compensation for assistant public defenders. There is, however, statutory authority governing the salaries for assistant district attorneys depending on prior experience as a practicing attorney.

Anonymous said...

How about an economics class for the board of supervisors?

They do know the county is broke right? They can't even afford the new radio system the county NEEDS.

I forget, they do work for us, right?

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