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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

We're different! state attorneys say



Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober understands that elected leaders must pinch pennies in these tough economic times.

But he wants prosecutors to be treated differently because, well, they are different.

He has written the governor's chief of staff asking that state prosecutors be exempted from any further spending reductions, including the 1 percent budget holdback scheduled for all state agencies on July 1.

Ober, president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, says reducing state attorneys' budgets "will be potentially devastating to effective prosecution and to public safety." They already are doing without 710 positions because of last year's cuts and are looking at losing another 223 positions with the additional holdbacks ordered by Gov. Charlie Crist.

"We must be ready, standing in court, prepared to represent the State of Florida on matters of great public importance," he wrote. "Simply stated, without our representation these proceedings cannot go forward."

Association representatives met with Eric Eikenberg, the governor's chief of staff, today to argue their case in person.

-- Colleen Jenkins, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:29am]


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