Laid-off Montcalm County prosecutor employee may be reinstated

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 5:28 pm on Friday, December 02, 2011

STANTON — A Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office employee who was laid off due to budget cuts may be called back to her job this week.

Office Assistant Connie Turnbull lost her job — along with several other county employees — after the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted Sept. 26 to approve $1.3 million in budget cuts.
However, commissioners voted Monday to recall Turnbull pending final approval of a contract with the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS).

The DHS contract would pay a portion of expenses related to abuse and neglect cases, as well as some overhead expenses. Prosecutor Andrea Krause said the state funds will more than cover the cost of recalling Turnbull, who was laid off Oct. 1.

Krause said she won’t know the total contact amount until she sees the final contract.

“I am hoping to have the contract this week,” Krause said. “It will be effective as soon as it is signed, but may be retroactive to Dec 1. I have told my employee she would not start until it is signed.”

District 7 Commissioner John Johansen said he was “happy” Krause was taking advantage of the DHS contract, which is something Ionia County has done for a long time. Johansen said Krause is finally “playing catch-up.”
“It’s not that she wasn’t aware of it, because she was,” he said.

Krause declined to comment on Johansen’s statement because she was not present when the comment was made.
“I am pleased that given this new funding source the commissioners did reinstate my laid-off employee,” she said.

Office assistants are responsible for each of the three courts — 8th Judicial Circuit Court, 64B District Court and Probate/Juvenile Court. They also are responsible for answering the phone and helping customers.
The prosecutor’s office has been operating with two assistants since Turnbull was laid off.

The prosecutor’s office also lost its law school intern position due to budget cuts. The intern handled district court matters, including pretrial conferences, probation violation hearings and jury trials, as well as researching and answering motions on an as-needed basis.

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