The Pulaski County Council approved an additional appropriation for the prosecutor’s office for a summer intern.
Prosecutor Stacey Mrak stressed that the money is not coming from the general fund even though it is appropriated money. She explained that the money is coming from the pre-trial diversion fund which can be used at the discretion of the prosecutor. The money needed to be transferred to another line item in the budget for payroll purposes.
The additional appropriation was for $2,700.
Mrak stated that her daughter would be the intern and she would be answering the phone, archiving information and shredding outdated documents that are scheduled to be destroyed. The request brought up an issue of nepotism. Mrak told the council members that the state’s nepotism law doesn’t affect her office.
“I am not a department head I’m the elected prosecutor and as I’ve explained on some issues before that the anti-nepotism law – there was an explicit press release by Mitch Daniels when that came out that the judicial branch is exempt from that which is the prosecutor’s office and the courts,” said Mrak. “There are a lot of prosecutor’s offices that have husbands and wives that are the prosecutor and the chief deputy or judges with magistrates that are their direct relatives. I wouldn’t ask you if it was illegal.”
The motion to approve the additional appropriation was approved on a vote of 5 to 2.