DA's office cuts public hours
by Kellen Moore
Members of the public now may access the Watauga County District Attorney’s office only between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays following a change in policy Oct. 1.
District Attorney Jerry Wilson said the change was necessary because the staff is having trouble completing its work amid interruptions, and tight state funding means they cannot hire additional personnel.
“We have to get these cases prepared and work with court,” Wilson said. “We can’t do it with people coming and going all times of the day.”
Wilson said he knows of district attorneys in other areas of the state that have closed their offices completely to the public and do not meet with anyone outside of the courtroom.
Wilson added that he understands the concerns from people who are frustrated that their tax dollars are funding an office they can access only on a limited basis. He added that he hated to make the change but felt something had to be done.
“We’ve heard some people grumbling when they come to the door and we won’t let them in,” he said.