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|Burget to restructure DA's office|
District Attorney-elect Brad Burget said this week he plans to restructure the DA's office and "will change the culture and work ethic of the office."
Elected to the DA's post on Saturday, Burget takes office January 1. The 35-year-old attorney said he's already making plans to "get organized."
He said one thing he'll do is discuss work hours for assistant DA's.
"We'll talk about job title and function, there will be more office hours and we'll be here to provide more help to the public," said Burget. "Not everything is a high profile case and sometimes people need to speak to an attorney. We'll always have an attorney on hand in both parishes."
Currently, the office can hire five assistant DAs, including a 1st assistant. He said the Legislature periodically reviews the number of assistants provided each judicial district.
"We'll take a look and see if we qualify for another assistant as well as how to continue things as they are with the present setup," he said.
He said he was "very happy" with the current staff of assistant DAs, which include Ann Siddall, Lauri Boyd, Carla McHand and Chris Boothe. Siddall and Boyd joined the DA's office a few months ago when Burget and Ronnie McMillin stepped down to run for the DA's post.
"I don't know what the assistant DAs' plans are but I intend to sit down with each of them and discuss the future," said Burget. "All may not want to continue working in the DA's office. Each may have their own aspirations and plans."
Burget said he also plans to computerize the case management system.
"We'll get a software system so that the DA, sheriff and judges can be connected," said Burget. "We'll track cases to make sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle. We handle a lot of cases and this will improve our operation."
He said the software system "will save money in the long run. We take a lot of time preparing the docket."
Burget said he plans to continue to spend time in the court room.
"I'll still be there," he said. "I intend on doing the felony jury trials and running the dockets. Of course, the assistant DAs will be involved in that. I really enjoy being the courtroom and I think it's important for the DA to be in the courtroom"
He'll be available, too, to talk with the general public.
"I'll be visible and if someone needs to talk with me we'll sit down and talk," he said. "I'll be fair and compassionate as a DA but we will be tough on drug dealers and violent felony offenders. We want to make sure that justice prevails and if someone is accused of a crime they, too, can come by and we'll sit down and discuss the issues and make sure justice prevails."
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