By jeanne starmack
The city’s municipal judge has ordered funding for a summer worker out of the general fund, and the state attorney general’s office will review that order.
“Anything of a legal nature, I will run by the assistant attorney general assigned to the commission,” said Sharon Hanrahan, chairwoman of the commission that oversees the city while it is in fiscal emergency.
“Any judge has the right to do a journal entry in this respect,” she said Monday after a commission meeting. “But it seemed to come out of nowhere.
“The court could have conversed with the city — we’re in need of this position,’” she said.
The city has to pay the salary and pension for the worker, which is an unbudgeted mandate from Judge Patrick Cunning, she said. “I just want [the assistant attorney general] to be aware.”
The worker is going to work 19 hours a week at $7.70 an hour, and her entire pay will total $1,700. That amount is not significant, and city council likely would have approved it, said council President George Levendis.
Levendis said the municipal court brought in $55,000 more than was projected in revenues last year.
Judge Cunning told The Vindicator the court is short-handed.
“I’m carrying out my obligation to make sure the court is running efficiently,” he said. “I don’t know of any situation where my predecessor or I ever went to the city for approval.”