Madison County commissioners agreed 4-1 last week to provide a $2,545 annual supplement to incoming district attorney Parks White’s office to offset the salary of a new incoming chief assistant district attorney.
The supplement represents Madison County’s population portion of the five-county district, which also includes, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Hart and Franklin.
White submitted a letter to the BOC saying that he wants to hire Geoffrey L. Fogus from the Augusta DA’s office in order to help him handle the “overwhelming backlog” of court cases in the district.
“As I am sure you are aware, the office has been left in a state of deep neglect for many years,” White wrote. “As my predecessor departs, two of his assistant district attorneys, including the chief assistant DA are departing with him.”
Commissioner Mike Youngblood provided the lone “no” vote on the matter, saying he did not feel it was fair to provide for a “raise” for an out-of-county employee when county employees have not received a raise for a number of years.
“Are we prepared to give the rest of the county employees a raise?” he asked. “If we will agree to that I will (vote for the supplement), if not, I won’t.”
But commissioner John Pethel disagreed, saying he thinks providing the DA’s office the requested supplement will be a good investment for the county and will help recoup court and jail costs incurred by the current backlog of criminal cases in the court system.
Chairman Anthony Dove noted that White had been voted in by a large margin and that his chief assistant would still be making $18,000 less per year than the outgoing assistant DA.