Abraham: Mayor's D.A. budget 'disastrous'

District Attorney Lynne Abraham blasted Mayor Nutter's proposed budget today, telling City Council that a 22 percent cut would be "one of the most disastrous budget cuts in the history of the D.A.'s office."

Abraham chided Nutter for slashing her department from $32 million last year to $25 million in his proposed budget without reducing the Public Defender's Association significantly beyond a 5 percent cut implemented in January to deal with the economic crisis.

Abraham predicted up to 100 fewer prosecutors; drastic reductions in investigations for house stealing, property crimes, fraud, nuisance bars and crack houses; and fewer resources for special DUI courts and mental health courts.

"Instead of the Mayor's budget making Philadelphia safer, it makes it more dangerous," Abraham testified in budget hearings. She said Nutter's public commitment to maintain the police department budget while cutting the D.A.'s office significantly made no sense.

"I cannot understand in my wildest imagination, how we can cut a department like the District Attorney's Office by $7 million," Council President Anna C. Verna said at the hearing.

"We’re supposed to be interested in public safety," Verna said "This floors me. It floors me."

Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety, is supposed to testify at the hearing to explain the rationale behind the cuts. Gillison had not yet arrived as of 12:44 p.m.

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