October 26, 2015
BATH NY- Steuben county legislators today announced a new local law that will place two county conflict attorneys on the payroll.
Officials say that normally when there are more than multiple defendants qualifying for a public defender while facing felony charges, the county assigns them outside counsel. According to Steuben County officials, state law has a fee schedule set at $75.00 an hour for outside counsel in these situations. The county public defense team has now the option of using the two assigned counsels, and according to lawmakers, this will save the county money while adjudicating fairly for the defendants.
County Public Defender Phil Roache stated that the number of assigned counsel cases is expected to jump from 149 felonies reported in 2013-2014 to 195 by the end of the 2015, at an average cost of $1,571 per case.