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County Outlines “Refreshed” Application and Selection Process for Appointment of New Public Defender

Staff report

Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar
Photo credit: County of Monroe

Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar announced the county’s process for selecting a new permanent public defender.

The statement came on Jan. 25, 2022 and follows last year’s letter of notice from former Public Defender Timothy Donaher indicating his declination to seeking reappointment.

LaMar’s selection process is said to be “refreshed,” according to information supplied by county staff; furthermore, the public defender selection process “is already underway,” the county says.

The new selection process for the public defender position involves creation of an informal panel to interview prospective job applicants. The panel is anticipated to include community legal experts recommended by the county’s Republican Majority Leader, Steve Brew; Democratic Minority Leader, Yversha Roman; and LaMar, the legislature’s president.

“I would like to begin by thanking former Public Defender Donaher for his service to this county and our residents,” said LaMar.

LaMar went on to say, “As I promised when elected legislature president –- I aim to bring new ideas and build bridges in Monroe County Government;” adding, “This refreshed and equitable approach to the integral appointment of the Monroe County Public Defender will ensure the bi-partisan, diverse and knowledgeable voices of our community required are best represented in this process.”

The county’s informal panel on public defender applicants is expected to request applicants for the position to schedule a time to meet with the panel to discuss community-based priorities, needs and questions.

Upon completion of discussions with candidates, members of the informal panel will select a recommended candidate via written communication to LaMar, who will then accept the final written recommendations from Brew and Roman.

LaMar will put forth a resolution to appoint the informal panel’s selected public defender candidate after culmination of the panel’s designated work.

The appointee will appear before the Public Safety Committee prior to presentation for consideration by the full county legislature for final adoption and appointment.

The public defender job description and application are available on the Monroe County website at: <https://cs.monroecounty.gov/hrapply/apply/view/5379>.

The county says this job opportunity is also listed at “other popular job applicant webpages,” including Indeed and LinkedIn.