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DA staff vote to cut own salaries

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett's prosecutors are pitching in their own salaries to help state employees in the district attorney's office facing furloughs.

"I was pretty proud," District Attorney Danny Porter said of the voluntary vote of 31 county-paid employees last week. "They are a good bunch of folks, looking out for their colleagues."

Last year the 13 members of the office who are employed by the state faced a furlough of one day each month because of the state's budget crisis. But Porter was able to pay for the extra day through drug forfeiture funds.

The money only lasted through the end of the year, so the prosecutors had to begin the furloughs in January.

But when the situation worsened to require two furlough days each month, the other employees stepped in.

Porter gave up a day's pay, or $609, and other staffers donated two hours' pay to the cause, ranging between $58 and $120 each - all for the next three months.

"I was really proud of my group. They really pulled together," Porter said.

While the Legislature continues to debate the 2010 budget, which begins in July, Porter has begun the process of applying for law enforcement grants set up with stimulus funds for law enforcement to avoid furloughs.