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County commission makes hiring freeze exceptions

Two exceptions were made this week to St. Joseph County’s self-imposed hiring freeze.

County commissioners Tuesday granted requests from district court and the prosecutor’s office to fill vacancies considered essential.

District court was in need of a probation officer, a position vacant since the start of the month. Officials said the job is critical because a probation officer provides a level of support that allows courts sentencing options other than incarceration.

In a memo to county officials, it was stated that current personnel is covering as best possible, but a shorthanded staff is unable to keep up with day-to-day demands.

Meanwhile, John McDonough was given permission to fill an assistant prosecuting attorney level 2 position.

He noted that the office has been understaffed since Nov. 4 and filling the position would bring the office up to the level of fully staffed.

McDonough added that without filling the position, misdemeanor and felony cases would be delayed, adding a burden on court employees.

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