San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s campaign to hire more staffers amid a city deficit came up short Wednesday before the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee.
Adachi wanted to hire seven more staffers and said the moves would actually save the city nearly $1 million. He argued that he would have to send felony or misdemeanor cases to private counsel since he did not have enough staff to provide adequate defense as they are entitled under the U.S. Constitution.
Those purported savings, however, could not be confirmed by the City Controller’s Office during the hearing. Adachi’s request particularly seems like a tough sell now that The City projects a $45 million operating budget deficit for the current fiscal year and a $522.2 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.
The committee refused to support the legislation to authorize the positions.
Supervisor Carmen Chu noted that: “There is no money to pay for these positions at this time short of us actually making service cuts and other cuts in other areas of the city’s operations. That is the reality of the conversation.”
Adachi has been fighting for the money to hire more staffers for more than a year and a half.
And the fight is expected to continue.