Apparently Kane County wasn’t paying assistant state’s attorneys enough to keep them around until recently:
“This is a significant (economic) downturn historically, but at the same time we have to be aware the failure to pay a competitive wage will lead to our talented and experienced assistant state’s attorneys going to other counties. I want the best and brightest to work here in Kane County. That has a direct impact on public safety,” [Kane County State’s Attorney Joe] McMahon said.
It does seem that Kane County was out of sync with the rest of western Chciagoland:
McMahon said the current starting salary for a Kane County assistant state’s attorney is $40,000.
He is proposing to raise that to $53,000.
In surrounding counties, McMahon said, starting salaries are $51,600 in McHenry; $54,100 in DuPage; $53,700 in Lake; and $51,600 in Will.
Brian may have some additional insights on this, but it strikes me that most of this previous disparity in salaries could be explained by different costs of living in each county. Still, if Kane wasn’t able to keep experienced prosecutors around, these proposed salary increases might be money well spent.