BARSTOW • The Barstow District Attorney's Office will lose a position on Nov. 8 as two district attorneys transfer out and one is brought in.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Byrd will be transferring to the Worker's Compensation Fraud Unit in San Bernardino and Deputy District Attorney Barbara McClanahan will move to the truancy division at the juvenile court in Victorville. Deputy District Attorney Connie Standley, who worked in Barstow in the past, will be moving back to the Barstow District Attorney's Office.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Julie Peterson said that the transfers were announced late last week. Although the transfers will leave the Barstow District Attorney's Office with eight District Attorneys from a peak of 10 a few years ago, Peterson said remaining staff will be able to handle the extra load.
The Barstow office faced another challenge late last year when all criminal cases were transferred from Needles to the Barstow courthouse — but no District Attorneys or support staff.
"We can do it," said Peterson. "Everyone has to pitch in. The toughest times will be when someone is on vacation or sick, it will be a little tougher. Victorville can help us out of we need it."
Due to budget cutbacks resulting in a hiring freeze in all county departments, district attorneys have not been hired to replace those who retire or take judgeships.
Byrd said that he is happy with his transfer to the Worker's Compensation Fraud Unit in San Bernardino, but will miss the Barstow Courthouse, where he worked for two years in two different stints.
"I enjoyed my time in Barstow," said Byrd. "Our office is a great place."
Byrd said that he has experience in worker's compensation law, as he was involved in some worker's compensation cases when he was a lawyer in private practice. Byrd handled gang crimes and other criminal cases in Barstow.
McClanahan, who worked on manslaughter, drunk driving, and other criminal cases, will move to the truancy division at the juvenile court in Victorville. McClanahan won numerous Mothers Against Drunk Driving awards for her prosecution of drunk driving offenders and said she helped draft a law to punish adults who provide alcohol to minors.
In her next assignment, McClanahan will work with children who have too many unexcused absences or tardies and their parents to help keep students on a straight path.
"We want to keep (the kids) from being future defendants in court," said McClanahan.
McClanahan said she will miss the staff at the Barstow courthouse as well as the California Highway Patrol officers she worked with on her cases.
Standley could not be reached for comment at press time Monday.
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