$7.2 million raise approved for local prosecutors 'overwhelmed' by crime wave

Backed by the badges and powerful presence of dozens of deputy constables, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg once again confronted Judge Lina Hidalgo and Commissioners - demanding more money to relieve a corps of prosecutors overwhelmed by the lingering crime wave and the massive case backlog it has created.

"Our lawyers have lost faith in this government body to appropriately fund them. They have lost faith that anybody cares what troubles they face, I think law enforcement has lost faith," said Ogg.

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Ogg came with plenty of reinforcements, each with compelling testimony from the front lines of the fight for law and order.

Nathan Beedle oversees all of Harris County's misdemeanor prosecutors.

"Today I have 40,700 cases and I've got 55 people to handle that and the 400,000 plus misdemeanors. The prosecutors do not feel supported. They do not feel respected. They don't feel valued," said Beedle.

And then there was chief human trafficking prosecutor Johna Stallings, who says without more support, victims of horrific sex crimes may never get justice and offenders may never be held accountable.

"They are the pimps that are communicating with the high schoolers in Katy, the high schoolers in Humble, the high schoolers in Kingwood, the high schoolers at Heights High school right now, to get them to prostitute for them, so they can exploit these girls and sometimes boys, and they don't have to work. That is what's happening right now," said Stallings.

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Instead of rejecting Ogg's pleas, as they have on several previous occasions, Commissioners voted to raise the pay of starting prosecutors from $66,000 to $86,000 per year at a cost of $7.2 million.

Judge Lina Hidalgo abstained calling Ogg's allegation of defunding law enforcement political theater.