Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says she doesn’t have enough money to run her department and is down 52 prosecutors and may have to forego prosecuting some felony cases soon. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
Detroit — Hearings on requests for personal protection orders will be heard only once a week because of staff shortages, Wayne Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Thursday.
Normally, hearings for PPOs, as the orders are commonly called, are held daily in two courtrooms in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Worthy said Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen McCarthy has agreed to hear all the PPO requests on one day every week. A PPO is a court order against an individual who is viewed as a potential threat to another person. They are usually obtained by individuals in personal relationships. Court officials said there are 10-18 cases on the PPO docket daily.
"We are very grateful to Judge McCarthy for her cooperation," Worthy said. "We are seeking ways to come up with similar solutions with other kinds of cases as well."
Last Friday, Worthy said she was ordered by Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano to lay off 26 contract employees as a budget-cutting measure.
For the past four days, no prosecutors have shown up at 36th District Court to handle serious traffic violations including drunken driving, driving with a suspended license and driving without proof of insurance.
Some of those cases were adjourned or dismissed.
Worthy says she doesn't have enough money to run her department and is down 52 prosecutors and may have to forego prosecuting some felony cases soon.
Worthy has sued the county, saying she was promised — and needs — the $34.3 million to properly run the department, but only has $25.6 million. Ficano countered saying the situation changed because of plummeting property tax values and the county can't afford the amount Worthy wants.
The lawsuit remains in mediation.