LOS ANGELES : Prosecutors Warn About Effects of Budget Cuts

Top prosecutors from eight California counties met Wednesday with Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti for a strategy session on ways to offset potentially devastating budget cuts.

"We need to communicate . . . to the people that we serve, and also to the legislators, the urgency of the problems that we're facing in terms of potential budget cuts," Garcetti said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office is facing budget cuts of 8% or 25%. An 8% cut in his department's $144-million budget, Garcetti said, would translate into the loss of 157 prosecutors. If that much money is lost, he said, the office will be unable to handle some felony cases and will be forced to ignore some misdemeanors, including driving under the influence, petty theft and domestic assault.

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