Local News

Freeze ordered on court expenditures

Posted April 16, 2009
Updated April 17, 2009

— The state Administrative Office of the Courts recently sent letters to district attorneys around the state calling for a suspension on all purchases.

The memo cites a directive from Gov. Perdue and says the cutbacks are to “ensure that money is available to meet payroll requirements.”

The use of emergency judges is suspended and job openings will also be frozen through the end of June.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby Courts asked to freeze spending

Travel reimbursement is suspended with an exception jfor judges, ADAs, required court officials, victims and witnesses going to court.

In addition, salary increases or promotions will not be processed.

In the long run, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby worries the cutbacks will cause delays in cases, like the one involving four students accused of murdering 18-year-old Matthew Silliman.

Silliman was found dead on Dec. 2 in a mobile home at 4221 Olive Branch Lane in New Hill.

Four of Silliman's acquaintances – Allegra Rose Dahlquist, 17, of 601 Walcott Way, Cary; Ryan Patrick Hare, 18; of 100 Walnut Hill Court, Apex; Aadil Shahid Khan, 17, of 901 Bristol Blue St., Apex; and Drew Logan Shaw, 16, of 107 Woolard Way, Apex – were indicted on one count of murder each in the case.

The cutbacks could cause the Silliman case to be delayed six more months, Willoughby said.

The cutbacks could affect a prosecutor's ability to build a case. The restrictions on travel may stop prosecutors from speaking to witnesses out of town.

Willoughby is concerned the cutbacks will cause more financial woes.

“It will delay the matter and result in people staying in jail longer at a greater expense to the county,” Willoughby said.


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  • Squirreling Dervish Apr 17, 2009

    pick up the phone, or if necessary, video conference the deposition. It isn't rocket science..

  • affirmativediversity Apr 17, 2009

    That's it Bev...create new jobs for all your cronies...expand services for criminal migrants throughout State services...then CUT the JUSTICE SYSTEM and CLOSE PRISONS!

    Did you aspire to become Governor before or after you realized you have the problem solving skills equal to the average driveway rock?

  • o-m-g Apr 17, 2009

    The case they quote saw the defendants arrested on December 3. Now 4 months have gone by with the prosecutors having full access to the travel reimbursement money that's apparently so critical to the speedy prosecution of cases and there's not even a trial date set.

    An article on the N&O published today says that homocide cases in North Carolina take, on average, 528 days. a year and a half.... and they're worred about gas reimbursements delaying things?

  • Snakebite Survivor Apr 17, 2009

    Very smart. Delay trials, keep people in jail longer. Yeah, that'll save money.

  • 1 of the original Americans Apr 17, 2009

    I wonder if this is only for criminal courts or family and CSE courts that are already back up to the point that they are scheduling motions to be heard three months out???

  • commonsensical Apr 17, 2009

    Of course, now is the time for defendants to file for an immediate dismissal of their case due to being denied their right to a speedy trial.