September 27 2015
BATH, NY – The Steuben County Legislature meets tomorrow and votes on whether to have an independent conflict defenders office. County Manager jack Wheeler says the conflict defenders office would not be run by the county public defense legal team, and would save Steuben County government $137,000 a year. Wheeler explained that when more than one suspect is charged, and that suspect cannot afford a lawyer, the county has to appoint the county public defender for one of the suspects, and then get outside attorneys to defend the others. so the independent conflict defenders office attorneys could defend all the other suspects, so the public defender does not have to bring in a bunch of outside lawyers. Wheeler also says that the Independent Conflict Defenders office would pick up 80 percent of the criminal cases that were, up to this point, farmed out to other attorneys.