Judge Executive Asks For Help From Citizens

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

We've told you recently about the bleak state budget forcing court workers to make cuts.

Now, one judge executive is asking the community to do what they can to make sure the judicial process continues to run smoothly.

Letcher County Judge-Executive Jim Ward says he is willing to help the commonwealth's attorney get through the next year without any major cutbacks, but the money is not there so he is challenging local business and civic leaders to help.

The Letcher County Commonwealth's Attorney says he does not want to layoff any of his four employees or ask them to take a pay cut.

“As of now, the only option that I have that is economically feasible for the office is furlows,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison Banks said.

The Furlows option means Banks employees would have to take an involuntary leave of absence for three weeks without pay or benefits.

Banks says the move would save the state around six thousand dollars.

Banks plans to file the paperwork by the December 19th deadline, but he's also asked the County-judge executive for help.

Jim Ward says he would be willing to lend Banks some money if he had it and now he's hoping the private sector will pitch in.

“So we started checking with other civic leaders, businesses, and checking to see if they can help,” Judge Executive Jim Ward said.

Ward says it is unclear if or how many local businesses would be willing to help.

Banks says any donations will help keep his support staff working through the year and he's had to modify court schedules to make things manageable when one of his employees is out on leave.

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