ST. CLOUD -- The Stearns County Attorney's Office prosecuted more than 1,000 felony cases last year. It was the first time felony level crimes eclipsed that number in Stearns County and they are on pace to exceed that number again in 2016. Data practices requests are up and so are expungement hearings.

All of the additional work, along with challenges in dealing with the new paperless e-filing system has County Attorney Janelle Kendall asking for additional staff to accommodate the increasing workload her office is taking on.

The County Attorney told county commissioners today (Tuesday), her staff is overworked and needs help.  Seven support staff have left her office in the last 18 months and Kendall is concerned more will leave if more staff isn't hired on to help.

Kendall says the county got approximately 6,000 hours of additional work from her staff last year that salaried employees weren't compensated for.

Kendall is requesting approval to hire an additional criminal division attorney and a legal secretary.

The county board is asking for a staffing study and is taking the hiring requests under advisement until their next meeting.