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District Attorney
Recommended Expenditures
By Program 2017-18 Recommended Change from 2016-17 Adopted
Administration & Support
Criminal Prosecution
Civil Prosecution
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Mission Statement

The mission of the District Attorney is to pursue truth and justice by employing the highest ethical standards in vigorously prosecuting the guilty, protecting the innocent, and preventing crime.

About the Department

The mandatory duty of the District Attorney is to diligently and vigilantly pursue those who are believed to have violated the criminal codes of the State (People v. Hartman (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 572 and California Government Code § 26500). The District Attorney also has the duty to protect the rights of victims of crime, where “victims of crime are entitled to have the criminal justice system view criminal acts as serious threats to the safety and welfare of the People of California” (California Constitution, Art. I § 28 and Marsy’s Law). 


The District Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of adult and juvenile offenders for felony and misdemeanor crimes or civil violations countywide. The District Attorney team consists of deputy district attorneys, criminal investigators, victim advocates, legal support staff, administrative and IT staff housed in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc. The team is organized to review, file, and prepare cases for prosecution; enforce terms and conditions of criminal probationers; assist victims throughout the criminal process, including efforts to recover restitution; and participate in proactive efforts to deter crime.


The District Attorney has three budget programs: Administration and Support, Criminal Prosecution, and Civil/Environmental Prosecution, as described below.

Recommended Changes and Operational Impact



Total net decrease of 4.0 FTE due to the following:

oIncrease of 2.0 FTE:

Increase is due to the addition of 2.o FTE Victim Witness Program Advocate positions that are fully grant funded. The department received funding from the Department of Justice for the Human Trafficking Task Force grant, which includes funding for 1.0 FTE Victim Witness Program Advocate. The department also received a grant to combat elder abuse from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, which includes funding for 1.0 FTE Victim Witness Program Advocate. Both positions were approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2016.


oDecrease of  6.0 FTE:

Reduction of 2.0 FTE Criminal Investigators and 2.0 FTE Criminal Investigative Assistants due to a reduction in General Fund Contribution, coupled with significant increases in pension costs.

Reduction of 2.0 FTE Welfare Fraud Investigations staff (1.0 FTE Welfare Fraud Investigator and 1.0 FTE Welfare Fraud Investigative Assistant) due to changes in program demand within the Welfare Fraud Unit.



Net operating expenditure increase of $310,290:

o+$482,225 increase in Salaries and Employee Benefits due to retirement cost increases, wage increases resulting from County-negotiated union contract changes, health insurance cost increases, and additional salary costs associated with the prosecution of the MS-13 gang case. 

o+$29,694 increase in Services and Supplies due to copier replacements and professional services associated with the Deputy District Attorneys Association contract.

o-$201,629 decrease in Other Charges due to a decrease in general liability insurance costs.


Net non-operating expenditure increase of $548,000:

o+$550,000 increase due to purchase of a new case management system.

o-$2,000 decrease due to change in Auditor-Controller audit fees.


These changes result in Recommended operating expenditures of $24,352,408 and non-operating expenditures of $550,000, resulting in total expenditures of $24,902,408.



Net operating revenue increase of $964,573 due to:

o+$927,741 increase in Intergovernmental Revenue due to $808,336 in new State and Federal grant revenue; $53,300 in Public Safety Sales Tax (Proposition 172); $66,075 in Local Realignment revenue. 

o+$100,000 increase in Forfeitures and Penalties due to anticipated increases in civil penalties resulting from the expanded prosecution of consumer and environmental crimes by the new Consumer/Environmental Unit. 

o-$10,000 decrease in Miscellaneous Revenue due to a decrease in the number of defendants suitable for the Misdemeanor Diversion Program. 

o-$53,168 decrease in Charges for Services primarily due to ($150,368) decrease in funding for the Welfare Fraud Program funded by the Department of Social Services, offset by a $94,200 increase in recording fee revenue collected for the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit. 


Net non-operating revenue decrease of $106,283:

o-$151,500 decrease in General Fund Contribution due to retirement costs and other County structural deficits.

o+$21,415 increase primarily in Local Realignment funding.

o+$23,802 increases to use of fund balances due to the following: a reduction of one-time Program Restoration funds in FY17/18 in the amount of ($431,500) associated with workers’ compensation premiums, general liability insurance, and translation/transcription funding. This reduction is offset by a recommended increase of $400,000 for a new case management system and $80,000 in additional salary costs associated with the prosecution of the MS-13 gang case. This year, the department will again use its fund balances to support ongoing operations in the amount of $473,695, this represents a decrease of ($24,698) from FY 2016-17 due to depleting departmental fund balance reserves. 


These changes result in Recommended operating revenues of $9,434,533 and non-operating revenues of $15,467,875, resulting in total revenues of $24,902,408. Non-operating revenues primarily include General Fund Contribution, transfers, and decreases to fund balances.


Proposed Changes and Operational Impact


The FY 2018-19 Proposed Budget contains $1,107,288 in total operating expenditure increases primarily due to retirement cost increases, health insurance cost increases, and wage increases resulting from County-negotiated union contracts. This is compounded by slower than expected growth in Prop 172 revenues, and reduced General Fund allocations. In addition, the department will have depleted most of its available fund balances. As a result, the use of one-time funding to maintain ongoing operations will be unavailable to support operations in future years. The department will face a budget shortfall in FY 2018-19 of $1,465,740 in order to maintain existing service levels.

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