Following the St. Mary’s County Board of County Commissioner’s January 24, 2023 meeting in which newly sworn-in States Attorney Jaymi Sterling requested funding for two specific items, the Southern Maryland Chronicle dug into the financial requests.
The first item Ms. Sterling requested was funding for four new positions. According to supporting documents on the St. Mary’s County BoardDocs page, Sterling asks for two Assistant States Attorneys and two paralegals. Following Fritz’s defeat in the November election, five individuals have left the St. Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office, two senior attorneys retired, and three left for other job opportunities.
St. Mary’s States Attorney’s Office request for Staff documents
Sterling cited during the meeting that based on other Maryland counties with similar populations, St. Mary’s only has thirteen prosecutors, whereas the others budgeted for up to 20. Sterling also noted that Murder, Rape, and Motor vehicle thefts have all risen in Maryland, with murder in St. Mary’s County rising 250% in just five years. Coupled with the fact that St. Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office is seeing more cases go to trial than pled out, it is backlogging the staff and increasing the caseload. Sterling’s request amounted to just over $500,000 for the four positions. Some of the money requested and approved is going to be for one-time costs.
St. Mary’s County Department of Information Technology request for Funding Documents
The second part of the request, which was brought forward by the St. Mary’s County Department of Information Technology, was to help the States Attorney’s Office upgrade its antiquated system.
The proposed system is called Prosecutor by Karpel(PBK). The St. Mary’s Department of Information Technology requested that $227,950 be allocated from its FY2024 budget. This money is not coming from the States Attorney’s budget. Going forward, the Department said if approved, it will adjust its FY2024 budget. It will only request funding for the PBK annual maintenance, additional document storage, and equipment lifecycle replacement funding, which is approximately $48,550.