NORRISTOWN -- Montgomery County is adding its voice to those of other counties in Pennsylvania who claim that the state is stiffing them when it comes to reimbursing them for the salary of their district attorney.
County Commissioners' Chairman James R. Matthews this week fired off a letter to state Attorney General Thomas Corbett, asking him to take the necessary action to secure those reimbursements funds.
In Montgomery County's case, the state owes the county almost $200,000.
County Solicitor Barry M. Miller said that, under a state law enacted several years ago, the state was to reimburse each county with a full-time district attorney 65 percent of that district attorney's salary.
The state in 2007 did send the county an $87,290 check for partial reimbursement of the district attorney's 2006 salary of $134,293, according to county Communications Director John A. Corcoran.
However, said Corcoran, the county has not received the 65-percent reimbursement for the district attorney's $136,999 salary in 2007 or for this year's salary of $156,441.
The state owes the county a combined $190,736 including $89,049 for 2006 and $101,687 for this year, said Corcoran.
"Montgomery County faces ever-escalating costs to provide quality, effective law enforcement and the commonwealth's failure to fund this statutory obligation has eroded our resources," Matthews said in his letter to Corbett, whose office oversees the reimbursement funds.
The Bucks County Commissioners last month sent a letter to Gov. Ed Rendell, asking him to use general operating funds to fulfill the state's reimbursement obligations. Bucks officials have said they believe the state owes that county $100,000 for this year and an unspecified reimbursement amount for the two prior years.
When the law was enacted in 2005, it stated that the reimbursement money would come from additional court costs and fines assessed against various types of defendants. Those funds have not been sufficient.
And, with the state declining to use other revenue sources to bolster those funds, counties have had to dip into their own pockets to cover the shortfall.