Williamson County DA asks for more employees/ raises

On Wednesday the attorney for Greg Kelley will go before a Williamson County Judge to try to convince her that Kelley is innocent.

In 2014 Kelley was found guilty of forcing a 4-year-old to commit lewd acts at an in-home daycare.

His attorney will present new evidence that he said proves another man committed the crime.

Tuesday district attorney Shawn Dick had to put his hearing preparations on hold to fight for more money for his employees.

He appeared before county commissioners.

Dick said he inherited a mess from the previous administration. Since January he's worked to clean that up.

He explained to commissioners how his staff was left with a backlog of hundreds of cases including 41 that involved the death of an individual.

They are chipping away to get those back to the normal range.

At the rate things are going he said he is on track to save the county $4.3 million.

As he told commissioners the majority of the cost savings comes from a reduction in inmates at the jail. Since January the jail population has decreased from 800 to 600. 

He said the reason for that is his new way of screening cases.

To keep things on the right track he's asking for a trial division chief and an administrative assistant. He also wants to give raises to his existing employees who have been putting in as much as 80 hours a week.

"There’s a number of employees I’m concerned about losing. They came here on the hope and the promise that we can do something great and they know we can do something great, but that goodwill only lasts so long. You can only work 60, 70, 80 hour weeks for so long. You want to know at some point there's some sort of compensation for you or award for you. I have very good public servants that work in my office. They’re not asking to make $1 million dollars. They just want to be paid for the job they do," said Dick.

Dick said his division chiefs are making $50,000 less than the division chiefs in Travis County. He’s not asking for anything in that range. In fact, his raise proposal would still put his employees at $40,000 less.

Commissioners must agree to include his requests on the budget. They could take a vote on the issue in two weeks.

The final budget approval is scheduled to happen at the end of the month.