County calls for state-funded indigent defense system

NORWICH – Chenango County is calling on New York State to take up the burden of indigent legal defense services which local officials argue would save county taxpayers approximately half a million dollars.

Members of the County Board recently passed a resolution requesting that the state legislature create a 100 percent state-funded indigent legal defense system. According to county officials, the measure would result in tremendous savings to the county by relieving local taxpayers of the public defender’s nearly $600,000 per year budget.

“If the state took over 75 or 80 percent of that budget, it would equate to about $500,000,” explained County Treasurer William Craine. “If that’s phased in over five years, we would see savings of about $100,000 each year.”

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