Griffin joins District 29-B as new assistant district attorneyPublished 4:33pm Monday, April 18, 2011
District’s D.A. staff still shorthanded, D.A. Hunt says
The offices of the District Attorney in Prosecutorial District 29-B, which includes Polk, Henderson and Transylvania counties, recently announced James Edwin Griffin III (“Tripp Griffin”) has joined the offices as the newest assistant district attorney.
Griffin is from Charlotte and graduated from Campbell University School of Law in 2010, with his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Griffin previously worked in Charlotte as a temporary special project attorney with the firm of Moore and Van Allen PLLC. He will assist the offices initially in district court prosecutions in all three counties of District 29-B.
“We are proud of our team of non-attorney staff as well as our prosecutors in the District Attorney’s offices of 29-B,” District 29-B D.A. Jeff Hunt said. “We are… glad to have Tripp onboard, and pleased to have his contributions.…”
According to a statement from Hunt, the 44 district attorneys across North Carolina are extremely short-handed as a result of the state’s budget crisis.
“Our prosecutorial district is currently operating with almost half the non-attorney staff personnel and with 20 percent fewer assistant district attorneys than was recommended for our work load level over two years ago,” the statement said. “In short, we are 35-percent shorthanded in the district attorney’s offices of 29-B, based on the 2008 study’s recommendations.”
Hunt continued, “Based on the AOC statistics which I assemble each year for our annual report, overall criminal filings have dropped both statewide and in 29-B (probably due to the bad economy requiring cutbacks in the hours of law enforcement officers in agencies all across the state). As our economy turns upward, we expect the number of new criminal cases to rapidly catch up and renew the upward trend we have expected historically.
“At the same time, unfortunately, over the last two years the historical homicide rate of the three counties which now comprise Prosecutorial District 29-B have doubled (from an average annual rate of 5-6 homicides to 9 homicides in 2009; and 12 homicides in 2010). This extreme shortfall of prosecutorial resources, therefore, hits our prosecutorial district at a time when for many reasons (relating to the continual progression of criminal law changes), it now takes prosecutors substantially more hours of work per each criminal case than just a few years ago; all the while our homicide rate has apparently reset at double our historical rate.”
– article submitted