Butler County agrees to pay for assistant DA position

| Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 12:54 p.m.

A suspended employee of the Butler County District Attorney's Office faces a disciplinary hearing on Thursday regarding accusations that she improperly handled paperwork that led to the loss of a $400,000 federal grant.

The county's salary board, in a 3-2 split, agreed Wednesday to pick up the cost of a full-time assistant district attorney position, threatened with elimination because of the error.

The county will pay the salary and benefits of Assistant District Attorney Richard J. Bosco, which District Attorney Richard Goldinger estimates to be $110,000 annually.

Goldinger warned the salary board that losing one of seven assistant district attorney positions would cause a court-case backlog and more time in jail for defendants awaiting legal proceedings.

The county is growing, “yet we're losing personnel,” Goldinger told members. “We're sending a bad message to the people of Butler County.”

Linda Cranmer, 52, the district attorney employee facing discipline, remains suspended without pay. She did not return a phone message Wednesday seeking comment. She earns $15.86 an hour.

The $400,000 grant, paid over two years, was to cover about 90 percent of Bosco's salary and benefits; the county was to pay the other 10 percent.

Goldinger, a member of the salary board with Commissioners William McCarrier and A. Dale Pinkerton, agreed to pay for the position from the county's general fund. Commissioner James Eckstein and Controller Jack McMillin voted against it.

Goldinger said Cranmer led him to believe the grant paperwork was submitted on time; federal officials notified him it was not.

The county's Victim Outreach Intervention Center was to get about $170,000 from the grant. McCarrier said its funding will be discussed during ongoing talks for the 2013 budget.

Goldinger said his office is appealing the loss of the grant and could obtain it next year.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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