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Lane County's District Attorney to resume prosecuting low-level crimes

The Lane County District Attorney said her office will no longer prosecute certain crimes, including most misdemeanors.
Nathan Wilk
The Lane County District Attorney said her office now has enough staff to prosecutor misdemeanors.

The Lane County District Attorney’s Office said it has hired enough lawyers to resume prosecuting low-level crimes.

In 2022, Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow announced that her office no longer had the staff to handle low-level cases, such as car prowling, or property crime.

She said more than 50% of her staff left over an 18 month period. A significant portion moved to higher-paying positions at other government agencies, where they were also allowed to do remote work.

She said a slate of raises approved by Lane County Commissioners has helped her recruit and hire enough experienced attorneys to handle larger caseloads, and prosecute all levels of crime.

“The community will be getting what they expect out of a DA's office, they expect us to hold people accountable for the crimes they commit,” Perlow said, “they expect us to do it reasonably, justly, and equitably. We have a number of great programs available in Lane County to help people, and getting them out of the criminal justice system is our goal."

She said she has informed all 11 law enforcement agencies in Lane County about the change, and her attorneys will work with them to prosecute every viable criminal case.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.
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