As I've mentioned here before, Assistant District Attorneys don't get paid overtime (with the pseudo-exception of Intake pay). If they work past the typical eight-hour work day, they get to earn Compensation time, which they can use whenever they want. It's a good system, and a workable one, as well. It also gave some flexibility to prosecutors who may have outside family obligations that might require them to come in late or leave early.
The way that Comp Time worked usually depended on what position one was holding within the Office. Felony Threes, for instance, will typically arrive at the Office anywhere between 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. to make sure that all of the cases have been pulled for the docket, offense reports have been ordered for those cases, and calls have been made to the victims on the cases. Felony Twos who aren't responsible for getting the docket together for court, often work well past 7:00 p.m., and sometimes would sleep in a little later, arriving between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
Most courts start their official docket around 9:00 a.m. (although a few do start at 8:30). Other than the Three getting the cases to court by 9:00 a.m., there wasn't a real pressing need for the other prosecutors in the court to arrive before then.
And the reality is that not much work on cases can really get done before going to court in the mornings. If a Felony Two or a Felony Chief didn't arrive to court until 9:00 a.m., and chose to burn some previously earned compensation time, that was just fine and dandy with everybody.
Well, it was fine and dandy with everybody until the Lykos/Leitner Circus rolled into town.
Under the new regime, the time for the understanding of the fact that Assistant District Attorneys have the audacity to have families that also require attention is over.
Jim Leitner sent an e-mail out the week before last stating that all prosecutors shall arrive at work at "0800" every morning. I guess Jim was going back to his time in Coast Guard when he decided to go with the military parlance.
So much for having the right to use your Comp Time whenever you wanted to.
Now, don't get me wrong. I think that each court needs to have a prosecutor at work by 8:00 a.m. every morning, but that duty usually falls on the Three. The idea of demanding that all three prosecutors be in the Office by 8 a.m. is actually pretty wasteful in the big scheme of things. Unless Lykos and Leitner want to start assigning them silly little duties like, say, walking around the Office and trying to find strategic places to put water coolers or something, odds are that the Felony Twos and Chiefs are just going to be sitting in their offices waiting for the time to go to court.
If you ask me, from a practicial standpoint, it was much better under the Old Rules, where a prosecutor would be more productive working later into the evening, or on weekends than they would be from the hour of 8 am to 9 am. As a taxpayer, I would rather the Public Servant actually be doing some meaningful work while they are at the Office. But that's just me.
The bigger thing of concern, however, is that the 0800 E-mail from Leitner is just yet another rule made by him and Lykos that seems to be made for the sake of making a rule. The proclaimed "Rule of Law" that Lykos crowed about during her campaign seems to have been replaced by the Rule of Micromanagement, which is so very unRepublican of her. What she is trying to do is tighten the leash on her employees to the point of strangulation.
She and Jim seem to have forgotten that some prosecutors live further away from Downtown than others. That some prosecutors have children that they need to get to school. Prosecutors who work late and don't get home until after the kids are asleep might just want to spend some time with their families in the morning.
In the old days, allowances were made for employees' personal lives, as long as they got their jobs done. It led to a happier atmosphere, and made it a good place to work. The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight seems rather intent on making the place one of the most employee-unfriendly workplaces in the Nation.
If I were in their shoes, I'd ease up and start trying to rebuild a little morale around the CJC. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing some very good and dedicated employees who are already thinking of (to put it in terms that Leitner would understand) "abandoning ship".