NORWICH – An increase in drug activity and drug related crimes in the area are giving reason for the Chenango County District Attorney’s Office to request another full-time Assistant District Attorney to alleviate a swelling workload – a request that was tabled by local legislatures Wednesday.
District Attorney Joseph McBride went before the county’s Personnel Committee Wednesday to defend his position to make Assistant District Attorney Michael Ferrarese, currently a part-time employee, a full-time ADA.
The department currently has two full-time attorneys: McBride and First Assistant District Attorney Stephen Dunshee.
“In Chenango County, we are going through a drug crisis and a crime crisis,” McBride told the committee. The spike in drug crimes, he added, leads to an influx in other related crimes like theft and abusive behavior – all of which have led to an increase in office’s workload.
The move to make ADA Ferrarese a full-time employee would come at an expense, however. The current proposal is to increase Ferrarese’s part-time salary of $36,702 to $73,404. Additionally, Ferrarese’s full-time position would include another $10,575 in fringe and retirement benefits for a total increase of $47,277 – all coming from local share to be added to the office’s $185,158 annual budget.