Defender Association: Budget cuts mean 30 layoffs

The Defender Association of Philadelphia this morning said proposed budget cuts would mean 30 layoffs, including 10 percent of its lawyers, and pleaded with City Council to intervene to prevent any further reductions.

Ellen Greenlee, chief defender of the Defender Association, said a proposed reduction of $1.3 million in fiscal year 2010 over the group's $37.7 million budget for 2009 would require layoffs of 22 attorneys, five social services workers and three staff members. The Association currently has 224 attorneys, who handle more than 400,000 court hearings.

Greenlee said mid-year cuts imposed by Mayor Nutter in the fall resulted in a hiring freeze and a reduction in starting salaries. She asked Council to oppose any cuts in the budget for this year. The hearing was still going on as of 11:47 a.m.

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