The St. Louis circuit attorney’s office will be closed on Monday.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says the office is closing to meet the city’s requirement that employees take furloughs, or unpaid time off, to ease the city’s budget crunch. (See our earlier story here).
The child support enforcement office will remain open, she said, because it’s state-funded. And a few employees in the prosecutor’s office will be on hand to take care of actions legally required to occur that day.
If the day off isn’t too disruptive, Joyce says two other dates also may be picked for furloughs.
“It is our goal to support the financial needs of the city and also to put minimum stress on an already strained criminal justice system,” Joyce said in a written statement announcing the office closing.
Joyce says Monday should be less disruptive than other times because the St. Louis Circuit Court won’t hold jury trials next week. The circuit court and city police officers aren’t taking part in the furloughs. The circuit court typically has six weeks per year where it doesn’t conduct jury trials.
Most court workers are paid by the state anyway, so taking time off wouldn’t help the city’s budget balance. The city said public safety positions such as uniformed police and firefighters are exempt because otherwise they might be called in on overtime, erasing the savings that might’ve been achieved.
The city told most rank-and-file employees to take a total of 40 hours of unpaid leave before the fiscal year ends June 30. Management is to take two weeks off without pay.
– By Kelly Wiese