Hamilton Co. prosecutor, council at o...

Hamilton Co. prosecutor, council at odds over pay

There are 42 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Sep 24, 2007, titled Hamilton Co. prosecutor, council at odds over pay. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp is asking the Hamilton County Council today to reconsider its decision to deny $30,000 in pay for the prosecutor who heads up the county's Fatal Alcohol Crash Team.

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Baised

Columbus, IN

#1 Sep 24, 2007
A prosecutor in Hamilton county makes less than a Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department recruit.

In Fishers

Grand Rapids, MI

#2 Sep 24, 2007
I live in Fishers and they spend my tax dollars like water. The can finance studies to see if they should build a huge downtown. That to me has no benefit. But they can't shell out $30k for a special prosecutor. Where is the logic.

A Huge Mistake

Westfield, IN

#3 Sep 24, 2007
Joel Hand is the best prosecutor that they have on staff and they are letting him go.?.?.?
Mr. Hand is supremely dedicated and hard working. Mr. Hand, simply put, holds the safety of the public in the highest position of priority. He works tirelessly to keep it that way.
100% conviction rate?.... who else can say that?
God forbid anyone having a family member be a victim of drunk or drugged driving; but if that was the case who else would you want prosecuting the offender....
SAVE JOEL'S JOB BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!
Little Person

Ashburn, VA

#5 Sep 24, 2007
Because the Council spent the money on themselves..or something stupid like another annex project......
Lisa

Indianapolis, IN

#6 Sep 24, 2007
I know Joel personally and he does a great job with FACT. To lose him and his knowledge and experience will be a terrible loss to Hamilton county as well as the rest of us. The decision to cut his funding is a mistake - it will be hard to find someone to fill his shoes IF the funding ever does get reinstated in 2009.
The Weatherman

Crown Point, IN

#7 Sep 24, 2007
Lawyers willing to be prosecutors are a dime a dozen. Where else can you work 9 to 5 and have the judges help you along anytime you get stumped by the facts and/or the rules of procedure?

In addition, I can't believe there are that many fatal alcohol-related crashes in Hamilton County that the duties take up a significant amount of time.

If he thinks $75,000 isn't enough, then let him go to a private firm and bill 2000+ hours.
Former Prosecutor

Grandville, MI

#8 Sep 24, 2007
Dr Sanjay wrote:
In 2006 Joel Hand made $74,240
Are you saying a IPD Officer makes more?
I think not-you are not just 'Baised'(what ever that means) but your just plain wrong--making up numbers is a sign of instability
When I started as a deputy prosecutor in Hamilton County in 2003 I made $33,000.00. Salaries in that office have always been poor and many talented attorneys have moved on to private practice or to other counties where the pay is better.

That being said, from what I understand, Mr. Hand knew that his job was funded by Federal grants, knew that those grants could be pulled at any time and knew that the County would not replace the Federal grant money if it was pulled.

Mr. Hand is an educated man. He took an educated risk to accept the position in Hamilton County knowing full well this could happen. Now, I'm supposed to support my tax dollars going to fund his salary????

Are there no other prosecutor's in that office who can handle a fatal alcohol crash case?? The office had a fine record of handling these cases before Mr. Hand and will have the same fine record after Mr. Hand.
Marion County FACT Member

Indianapolis, IN

#9 Sep 24, 2007
I am on the Marion County FACT Team and started when Joel was here, from the beginning. He was instrumental in getting us the training we needed, as well as closing gaps in defenses used by defendants. Marion County has had a 100% conviction rate to date, and that started with Joel's dedication. He never refused a phone call or page in the middle of the night to help.
Since the state cut that funding (for whatever reason), the Hamilton County council needs to find the money to keep Joel. His expertise is invaluable.
Leerkamp

Huron, OH

#10 Sep 24, 2007
Wah! Sob... Sob... Sniff... Sniff
Scooter57

United States

#11 Sep 24, 2007
I would not be disappointed if we were to loose Sonia Leercamp.
Bob Jones

Indianapolis, IN

#12 Sep 24, 2007
Ask the question, how many fatal alcohol crashes have been filed in HC since Joel has been hired. Maybe two. Now you know why the grant money was pulled and why the council isn't funding it.
Lawman

Carmel, IN

#13 Sep 24, 2007
The FACT grant used to fully fund Mr. Hand's salary. Now, due to cuts in the grant, they will only pay a part of his total salary. The Hamilton County Council will only need to fund a PART of Mr. Hand's salary, approximately $30,000. Why is the grant being cut? Not enough alcohol-involved fatal crashes in Hamilton County? Ha!!! Have you seen the enforcement in that county?
I personally know Joel Hand and find him to be the most dedicated public servant It has been my pleasure to serve with! Surley the Council can come up with the $30,000 dollars in the richest county in Indiana for something as important as prosecuting drunken motorists who use their vehicles to kill the innocent-US!!!!
Fairness

AOL

#14 Sep 24, 2007
Maybe if they would plea bargain on some of their over-charges like normal, rational prosecutors, the case load wouldn't be so heavy. This office seems to be too stuck up on their perfect conviction rate.
Frustrated Citizen

Crown Point, IN

#15 Sep 24, 2007
If the Hamilton Co. Prosecutor's Office becomes fully funded, do you think they would return some of their phone calls, EVER?
Since you asked

Louisville, KY

#16 Sep 24, 2007
Since you asked, why don't you look into it? And, if it's "Maybe two," apparently you don't care if "maybe two" individuals were killed by drunk/drugged drivers. Apparently not "maybe two" of your family members. What do you think the cost, besides lives, is, of a fatal drunk/drugged driver crash?
Bob Jones wrote:
Ask the question, how many fatal alcohol crashes have been filed in HC since Joel has been hired. Maybe two. Now you know why the grant money was pulled and why the council isn't funding it.
Frustrated Citizen

Crown Point, IN

#17 Sep 24, 2007
Since you asked wrote:
Since you asked, why don't you look into it? And, if it's "Maybe two," apparently you don't care if "maybe two" individuals were killed by drunk/drugged drivers. Apparently not "maybe two" of your family members. What do you think the cost, besides lives, is, of a fatal drunk/drugged driver crash?
<quoted text>
Huh? Using your logic, I think we should hire a prosecutor (regardless of the cost) to investigate and prosecute only murders caused by smothering with down pillows. Because if your relative were smothered with a down pillow, no expense is too much. Of course, we'll have to have another hired to handle the foam pillows.

Of course, money is always an issue when dealing with government employee--no matter how important the cause. There's nothing wrong with saying we don't need a special prosecutor to handle drunk driving fatalities if it isn't a full time job.

The sound bite sloganeering days are over. We're going back to substance.
Tokin42

Union, KY

#18 Sep 24, 2007
How much money have they spent this year prosecuting cases involving 18 year olds sleeping with 15 year olds and the truduea "case"? Sounds to me like they need to prioritize a little better.

Maybe if the stiff shirts in that county would learn to mind their own business, they'd have a little of that massive amount of tax revenue left over to help pay for things like this.
Try something else

Louisville, KY

#19 Sep 24, 2007
Oh, I remember, every year there are several people murdered in Hamilton County via down pillows. That's at least as common as people killed by drunk/drugged drivers. Wow. I'm so stupid. Thank you.
Baised

Columbus, IN

#20 Sep 24, 2007
An IMPD recruit earns $39,000.

Starting prosecutors in Hamilton County make less than that.

That sucks.
Frustrated Citizen

Crown Point, IN

#21 Sep 24, 2007
Try something else wrote:
Oh, I remember, every year there are several people murdered in Hamilton County via down pillows. That's at least as common as people killed by drunk/drugged drivers. Wow. I'm so stupid. Thank you.
But the potential is there. And if it happens, then you'll be sorry we didn't have a prosecutor specializing in it. No cost is too expensive for our safety, remember?

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