Funding for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the First Judicial District, and the District Attorney’s Office may be on the chopping block if Philadelphia is forced to make further cuts in order to balance the budget. Further cuts may be necessary in order to pay the arbitrator’s award to the International Association of Fire Fighters.
The city expects to win an appeal of the award granted to the city’s firefighters. If the city doesn’t win, however, payments on the award would result in budget shortfalls and would require further cuts. “If the city lost the firefighters arbitration [and we don't think ultimately that we will], then we'd have to take a variety of actions including spending cuts,” said a spokesman for Mayor Nutter, Mark McDonald.
The Defender Association has already withdrawn from Municipal Courtrooms due to funding deficiencies. If further cuts are required, the Defenders would be forced to eliminate more staff and withdraw from more courtrooms. The Defender Association represents many of Philadelphia’s indigent defendants. Cutting more positions would require the appointment of “private attorneys at additional cost.”