County officials hear argument for full-time public defender

NORWICH – One month after a proposal to make Chenango County’s public defender a full-time position was first brought to the table of the county’s Safety and Rules Committee, a different proposition was brought before committee members last week to staff the Public Defender’s Office with a total of five full-time positions, making it a completely full-time operation.

According to Chenango County Public Defender John Cameron, the move to a full-time division would save more money over not making any changes at all. In addition to Cameron’s current part-time position, the Public Defender’s Office presently maintains four part-time assistant public defenders, as well as five part-time secretaries and a full-time assigned counsel administrator.

But the latest proposition bought fourth by Cameron moves that the Public Defender’s Office eliminate two assistant public defenders and all five secretary positions. The change would allow creation of four full-time positions - Cameron as the public defender, two assistant defenders, and the clerk (who at the moment, is also part-time). The assigned counsel administrator position, currently the only full-time position, would remain as is.

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