NORWICH – A 1974 Chenango County law requiring equivalent salaries and budgets for the public defender and the district attorney’s offices has been referred to the county’s attorney for legal review.
Members of the Safety and Rules Committee made the move last week after Chenango County District Attorney Joseph A. McBride alerted them to a discrepancy between the two departments’ budgets, with the public defender’s office receiving $120,000 more. The budget last year in Public Defender Alan E. Gordon’s office also exceeded that of the DA’s, by about $70,000.
“According to our local law, that states the amount of the public defender’s budget would never exceed ours ... I just want to make sure that our district attorney’s office is adequately funded so we can provide quality services to the citizens of Chenango County,” McBride wrote in an April 1 letter to the committee’s chairman, Jack T. Cook, R-Greene.