Court Bills Overwhelm Public Defender's Budget
Published: September 23rd, 2011
By: Julian Kappel

Court bills overwhelm public defender's budget

NORWICH – The Chenango County Public Defender’s office has requested an additional $35,000 to be added to the 2011 budget in anticipation of bills filed for defendant appeals that have occurred over the past two years.

According to Public Defender Alan Gordon, three cases have resulted in repeated appeals that will cost the county as much as $35,000 over the proposed budget for the year. The costs were unforeseen, but must be dealt with nonetheless, he said.

“We try to predict the amount as accurately as we can for the year,” he said. “But we can never be absolutely sure the extent of the appeals.”

Gordon explained that the trial of Peter M. Wlasiuk, who was convicted of murdering his wife in 2006, a verdict that was overturned by the New York State Appellate Division, and then re-tried September of 2008, has “cost the county a fortune.”

Numerous appeals in the cases of both George Ford and Michael Victor will also result in bills filed by assistant public defenders. Administrator Karri Beckwith explained the public defender fees would most likely be presented by the end of the year.

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