County Resumes Paying Attorneys For Foster Children

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cuyahoga County has resumed paying more than 230 attorneys who represent abused and neglected children. They hadn't been paid in two months because of a $77 million county budget deficit.

Juvenile Court took $530,000 left over from a community diversion program last year and used it Tuesday to begin paying $330,000 in lawyer fees.

County Commissioner Tim McCormack said the juvenile court stopped paying attorneys to pressure commissioners for more money.

Judge Joseph Russo disagreed and said the court had worked to reduce costs and save money.

The court spent $1.9 million on attorney fees in 2001. This year, commissioners gave them $1.1 million for attorney fees.

A group of juvenile court attorneys recently sued the county and said they are paid too little to do their jobs well.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)