Scales of Justice

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Attorney's Office announced on Monday that it will furlough at least 47 employees between now and the end of the city's fiscal year on June 30.

According to a news release from the office, the move is an effort to alleviate a projected $46 million loss in general revenue for Louisville Metro Government. The projected budget shortfall is the result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Ten of those employees were fully furloughed beginning on Monday. Those employees were to remain furloughed until at least May 31, to comply with the Kentucky Supreme Court's orders for limited court operations in Kentucky due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Another 37 employees will take a one-week furlough between now and June 30. Those employees include attorneys in the Civil Division and members of Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell's administrative team. 

"Louisville must receive additional direct relief from the federal government with enough flexibility to meet the needs of this emergency," O'Connell said, in a statement. "Public safety is Louisville Metro's top expenditure and without additional support, we will not only struggle to maintain our police, fire, EMS and public health efforts, but also the support systems behind these agencies and those working to hold violent offenders accountable."

"These are the most trying times the people of Jefferson County have faced in my lifetime," he added. "Now that we have withstood the initial wave of the pandemic and the legal needs brought on by it, I thought it was important that my office take these proactive steps. We expect the court system to be overloaded once things begin to reopen, so this is my office's chance now to do its part for Louisville Metro."

"These furloughs are a hardship for our staff members, but their sacrifice is for the continued health of our operation and that of Louisville Metro," O'Connell said. "I hope others recognize my staff's contributions to our city and to public safety in the same way that I know I do."

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