Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich released a proposed salary schedule Wednesday for her assistant district attorneys, which is much less than the one allowed by law and upheld last week by the Alabama Supreme Court.
Under the new scale, the office’s chief assistant district attorney would make $136,778 per year starting out with increases in six steps to a maximum of $153,875. The lowest level ADAs in the office would start out at $63,830 and cap out at $77,508. Level 2 ADAs would make between $82,067 and $99,164. Level 1 ADAs would make between $109,422 and $153,875 per year, according to a statement from Rich.The new scale is a compromise, which Rich wrote was much less than the pay amounts upheld by the state Supreme Court in a ruling Friday.
“This pay scale is very similar to the one used in Montgomery County,” Rich wrote. “Nine years ago, Montgomery County’s pay scale for assistant district attorneys ranged from $53,523 to $134,731. Since that time I understand their County Commission has both supplemented the District Attorney’s office and awarded pay increases across the board.”
Rich’s proposal also includes required county funding of $46,264 per stenographer, or trial coordinator for up to eight positions, the statement read.
In a statement released shortly after the ruling was announced, LaVeeda Battle, an attorney for the county in the case, wrote that it would dramatically increase the salaries of prosecutors and some would be paid close to $300,000 per year.
In her statement, Rich called claims that the ruling would double the salaries of prosecutors to twice that of trial judges “ridiculous,” but did say she would continue working toward a resolution with commissioners.
“I urge the Mobile County Commission to accept that the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Mobile County District Attorney’s office,” Rich wrote. “I take my responsibility seriously and especially the job of making sure we spend our tax dollars wisely. It is now time for the Mobile County Commission to fulfill its legal and moral obligation by properly funding our office and bringing the matter to a conclusion.”
The commission hasn’t acknowledged any ongoing dialog, but comments from the county’s attorney suggest the lawsuit that has — one that has cost taxpayers around $500,000 so far — will continue.
When Lagniappe reached out to Battle on Wednesday afternoon, she declined to comment on Rich’s proposal because she had yet to review it completely.
“We are, at this point, continuing to look at all of our legal options to resolve this matter,” she added.