County will add positions for public defender and district attorney

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 December 2019 at 10:03 am

ALBION – Orleans County is adding three new positions for the Public Defender and two full-time in the District Attorney’s Office.

The state’s Office of Indigent Legal Services will pay for two part-time assistant public defender positions and a full-time assistant public defender.

The state Office of Indigent Legal Services is providing funding for counties to add staff for the public defender to reduce caseloads and improve the quality of representation for indigent residents.

The part-time attorneys will work 21 hours a week while the other job is full-time.

The new positions become effective on Jan. 1.

The County Legislature also has authorized creating two new positions in the District Attorney’s Office. These jobs will be funded locally because the state didn’t provide grants for the positions.

County legislators said the new jobs are needed to meet the increased workload in the DA’s Office due to the state’s criminal justice mandates for bail reform, discovery reform and speedy trial reform. Those new standards take effect on Jan. 1.

The District Attorney’s Office will have an additional full-time assistant district attorney and a new secretary to assistant DA. The county also is increasing the hours per week for two positions from 35 to 40 hours a week. That includes the confidential secretary to the district attorney and a secretary to an assistant DA.

Those additions will cost about $180,000 in 2020.

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