A total of eleven District Attorneys were laid off last year in San Joaquin, California, with seven of those happening last month. The department, like most California state and local government offices, is facing steep budget cuts. The DA’s that were cut mainly handled misdemeanor prosecutions, including DUI’s and some domestic abuse cases. The office is concerned they won’t be able to prosecute all of the cases that come to it. According to deputy district attorney Robert Himelblau, “We just can’t say we’re going to refuse to prosecute misdemeanors, on the other hand, we can’t fool anybody by saying we can actually file these cases”.
The County is facing additional layoffs this year, with as many as 600 county jobs in jeopardy if there isn’t significant improvement by June. San Joaquin is struggling under a record high 16.9% unemployment rate, well above the national average of around 10%. No help is likely to be forthcoming from the state, either, where the unemployment rate remains over 12% and the state budget has a $20 billion deficit.