The budget woes of the Harris County District Attorney's Office continued to deepen reportedly today. This time the folks losing out because of Pat Lykos' spending habits were the Pre-Commits.
As I've mentioned before, the term "Pre-Commit" refers to recently (or soon-to-be) graduated law students who have been hired as interns for the District Attorney's Office. They are promised employment conditioned only upon them passing the Bar Exam. Prior to the Bar results arriving, they are employed by the Office as interns. My understanding is that they are paid about $12 an hour during their internship.
Upon passing the Bar Exam, the Pre-Commits are then upgraded to a starting "real" salary, and they get sworn in by a judge in a nice ceremony that family can attend. At present time there are somewhere between 10 to 15 Pre-Commit Interns who are awaiting their Bar results.
This week was supposed to be a big one for the Pre-Commits, because the Bar results are due to be released on Thursday or Friday. It's time to upgrade from working for beer money to a real salary, right?
Pre-commits were told this morning that due to a "budgetary shortfall," the Office can't afford to actually pay them "real attorney" salaries. The Office is hopeful that they will be able to start paying them a real salary in December, but for now, the Pre-Commits are just sh*t out-of-luck.
These poor rookie prosecutors have made a commitment to the Office and the Office has made a commitment to them for employment. These attorneys bypassed employment with other people to work for the D.A.'s Office and now they are getting absolutely screwed over financially. This is beyond ridiculous.
As my NYC editor pointed out, you can get paid more for babysitting.
Most of the prosecutors and support staff around the Office have already come to terms with the fact that they won't be getting raises this year, but not paying the Pre-Commits jeopardizes these kids' ability to afford to live. It's insulting and dishonest. Lykos and the Gang are breaking a promise to the Pre-Commits that is beyond shameful.
But, hey, on the plus side, I hear that the hardwood floors in Lykos' office look fantastic! Oh, and the driver she hired to drive her around hasn't had a fender bender in months!