State’s Attorney wins backing for 3 more hires

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes has received County Council approval to hire two lawyers and an investigator to wade through cases related to possible evidence mishandling in the Salisbury Police Department.

Jamie Dykes.

The council agreed last Tuesday to amend the county’s classification and pay plan by adding two new prosecutor positions and one new special investigator post. The trio would review closed criminal cases related to dual probes regarding officer, attorney and employee conduct.

City Police revealed in February that a civilian employee working in the Property Room may have removed evidence being held in advance of court proceedings. A full investigation by multiple agencies is now under way.

Dykes said defense attorneys might file motions to reopen cases related to the two probes, adding significant work to her office.

Citing an immediate need for more help, Dykes made her request for the new positions through emergency legislation.

Dykes said the three positions were being added on a temporary basis, but also said it could take years for all the cases to be vetted and possibly retried.

In two separate votes, the council agreed to add the three positions. Dykes will include the positions in her fiscal 2021 budget request, which will receive council scrutiny next month and take effect July 1.

The additional positions could cost the county as much as $300,000 annually, in salary and benefits combined.

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