SB 797 - District attorneys shall be elected during the 2014 general election in each judicial circuit for counties that elect to be part of the system. They shall serve four year terms. The district attorney must be a resident of the judicial circuit for one year before being elected and shall receive the same annual salary as the circuit judge. District attorneys shall be included in the "Prosecuting Attorneys' and Circuit Attorneys' Retirement Fund" and shall be treated as prosecuting attorneys for such purposes.
District attorneys shall prosecute all criminal actions for the counties that have chosen to be part of the system. If a change of venue is granted, the district attorney shall continue to prosecute the case. If a district attorney is unable to prosecute because of a conflict of interest, the presiding judge shall appoint another district attorney from an adjoining circuit to serve on that particular matter.
The district attorneys may appoint assistants, investigators, and clerical staff, and may set their salaries within the limits set by the county commissions. Such salaries shall be paid by the county and the salary of the district attorney shall be paid by the state, except if a charter county chooses to provide the district attorney with additional compensation over the statutory amount, the county shall pay such amount.
The salaries, excluding that of the district attorney, and expenses of the district attorney offices shall be funded by the respective counties; however, the state shall provide increasing reimbursement of the costs over the course of several years. This act contains the schedule for reimbursement by the state to the counties, ranging from 5 percent in 2015 to 50 percent in 2024 and later years for circuits consisting of one county, and from 10 percent in 2015 to 50 percent in 2019 and later years for circuits consisting of more than one participating county. In circuits where more than one county contributes to the expenses, each county shall be reimbursed in the same proportion as the contribution.
This act requires the district attorney to be employed full-time and not practice law elsewhere. For counties without a charter form of government, the county commission must adopt, by majority vote, a resolution to join the system. Such resolution must be given to the secretary of state at least twelve months before the general election where such district attorney is to be elected. For counties with a charter form of government, the governing body must adopt by charter amendment to join the system and eliminate the office of prosecuting attorney.
No office of the county prosecuting attorney shall cease to exist except upon the election and qualification of a district attorney for such county and circuit.
This act is similar to SB 1256 (2004).
SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE