The Norman Transcript

Local news

January 27, 2013

Prosecution funds waning

NORMAN —  District attorneys headed to the state Capitol two days last week to inform lawmakers that they are running out of money to prosecute serious criminals like murderers and rapists.

“District attorneys now begin each day worrying not about the murder case their office will try, but about how they will fund a prosecutor to handle it,” said Suzanne McClain Atwood, executive director of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association.

The DAfs think it will only get worse next fiscal year unless the Legislature comes up with more money.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said the problem accelerated when “there was a judge choosing to send offenders to a private service,” rather than to the DA’s office.

This means that the district attorneys are losing a $40-a-month payment from defendants, he said, which comprises at least 20 percent of his budget.

Meanwhile, Special Judge Steve Stice has told the state court of criminal appeals that he assigns some cases to a private vendor because the DA’s office cannot provide the services offenders need to complete their terms of probation.

The appeals court sided with Judge Stice, stating that the judiciary needs to be able to assign an offender to be supervised by either the DA or a private service — whichever is more appropriate.

Meanwhile, Cleveland County judges are alarmed that the Legislature might halt private supervision entities from treating any defendants subject to the $40-a-month fee.

State Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, has filed Senate Bill 1038 that would eliminate private services groups from supervising offenders on probation.  Sykes is judiciary chairman in the Senate.

Mashburn told The Transcript that it is not his wish that private supervision services to be blocked from getting cases.

“I will talk to Senator Sykes about that and see if we can get that changed,” said Mashburn, current president of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Crime briefs

    Man charged with rape A Norman man was charged with second-degree rape Thursday after a teen reported that she had been engaging in sexual activity with him. Stacy Lynn Thomas, 36, had numerous sexual encounters with the 15-year-old girl ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 1:36 a.m. burglary in progress, 3700 block of Barwick Drive · 9:54 a.m. larceny report, 500 block of South University Boulevard · 10:42 a.m. larceny report, 1400 ...

    August 1, 2014