Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced late yesterday that he will continue to prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence cases. His announcement came after the Topeka City Council voted 7 to 3 yesterday to repeal the city’s law prohibiting misdemeanor domestic violence.
The City Council’s vote was an attempt to force Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor to prosecute domestic violence cases, which still remain criminal under the state of Kansas’s law, after Taylor stopped prosecuting any misdemeanor cases in September, including domestic violence, in an effort to cope with an impending 10 percent budget cut.
Taylor indicated that he will also review the 21 domestic violence cases that were dropped as a result of his refusal to file charges, stating “We’re queuing up all the cases piling up at the city attorney’s office since Sept. 8.”
Nevertheless, Taylor lamented the shortage of available funding to prosecute domestic violence cases in the county, stating “I am absolutely responsible for public safety in Shawnee County, for every detail of it except how much money I get to do it with.” Despite budget cuts at the local level, which are jeopardizing laws and protections, Governor Sam Brownback (R) reportedly plans to implement state tax cuts for the wealthy.
Topeka Capital-Journal 10/12/11; New York Times 10/11/11; Jezebel 10/12/11; CBS 10/12/11; Kansas City Star 10/12/11