ATLANTA - Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has let one of his assistant DAs take a leave of absence to be on a dating reality show.
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston found some questions about whether this puts important cases in jeopardy.
Channel 2 Action News has obtained an internal memo from Howard that lets Assistant District Attorney Andi Dorfman take a three-month leave of absence so she can appear on ABC's reality dating shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette."
Huddleston emailed the DA's office to talk about Dorfman's request and if there's a shortage of assistant DAs in the office, but
the only response was they won't talk about it.
Attorney Dennis Scheib has been highly critical of Howard in the past. But he doesn't think the DA did anything wrong with granting the request.
"She wasn't paid, so I don't find anything illegal or unethical about it. People take leave of absences all the time for a death of in the family, something personal or they get burned out at work,” Scheib said.
Others say it just doesn't seem right to have an assistant DA on leave for a TV show.
“She is kind of in a position of public figure, so I don't know … a little bit squishy," said Fulton County resident William Florkowski.
Some attorneys Huddleston talked with Monday said they have had problems getting cases heard
by the DA’s office.
In an email statement, Howard said, "The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has a legal staff of 104 lawyers and a total of 235 employees. Currently, all our attorney positions are either filled or encumbered. Encumbered means we have already identified new lawyers to occupy the few remaining vacancies within the very near future.
"Andi is a young lawyer who has been with the office for less than two years. As much as we prize her work, we can get along without her for two months. Although we could use more lawyers and more help, it is not uncommon for employees to leave for similar periods due to pregnancies, medical reasons and unexpected emergencies. Again, we wish the best for Andi while we continue the very serious business of keeping our community safe."
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