SC Prosecutor Brings Job Position Request Back to Commissioners for Consideration

A meeting between the Starke County Prosecutor, the Sheriff and other County officials was arranged during this week’s Starke County Commissioners’ meeting.

Prosecutor Leslie Baker came before the commissioners Tuesday evening and asked them to reconsider approving the creation of an investigator’s position for the Prosecutor’s office.

Commissioner Kathy Norem reiterated her stance, which was expressed at the last Commissioners meeting, that there are investigators available at the Sheriff’s Department and an additional employee seems unnecessary.

Prosecutor Baker indicated that her goal with creating this position is to provide the County with an extra resource.

Baker explained “I have no problem working with the detectives of the Sherriff’s Department or the detective we have with the City of Knox Police Department. In fact, when I asked him to do some follow up for me the other day he said he wishes there were three of them.”

She continued, “This is not a position to reflect anything on any current investigator that we have working for any agency in the County. This is an additional means of support to provide follow up on cases that sometimes slip through the cracks.”

Baker mentioned that creating the position would not require an additional funding request or appropriation since a two percent raise to her budget has been approved by the County Council. She said there is money available to fund the position and she was able to incorporate it into her budget for next year.

Commissioner Norem asked if the money the Prosecutor was referring to would be coming from pre-trial diversion funds and Baker confirmed that’s what she was talking about. Norem noted that money still has to be collected so the availability of those funds is not certain.

Following further discussion, Commissioner Bryan Cavinder suggested having a meeting with himself, Prosecutor Baker and Sheriff Bill Dulin in order to discuss matters further.

Prosecutor Baker said she was willing to attend such a meeting and Sheriff Dulin also agreed. Dulin recommended having County Attorney Marty Lucas and at least one County Council member present as well.

The commissioners made a decision to table the Prosecutor’s request for the time being and said it could be revisited during a meeting further down the line.