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12. B. 10.
Approval of Public Defender Contract Attorney Program
Jim Dyer, Corporation Counsel, Corporation Counsel
Resolved, that the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners does approve the form of contract for Indigent Defense Contract Attorneys as presented, and further authorizes the Chief Public Defender to negotiate to completion, and to sign on behalf of the County, a sufficient number of contract attorney agreements, and to fund those contracts within the amounts appropriated in the Public Defender budget for contract attorney fees, subject to minor modifications of each individual contract acceptable to the Administrator/Controller and the Corporation Counsel.
The Chief Public Defender, County Administration and the Corporation Counsel recommend adoption of the resolution, as presented.
The Public Defender office has commenced operations. The plan submitted to and approved by the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission provides for a blended program where a certain number of cases are handled by private attorneys working by contract to accept a predetermined amount for certain functions that occur during the process of a criminal adjudication. The budget assumes, and funds, approximately 570 misdemeanor and 425 felony cases or probation violations that will be handled by these contract attorneys. Many of these cases will be assigned to these non-staff employed contract attorneys due to conflicts with client represented by employee of the Public Defender Office.
The budget contemplates at least eleven attorneys performing contract services. Since it is likely that some, if not all, of these contracts will result in the payment of more than $20,000.00, to any one individual contract attorney, County policies require Board of Commission approval of the contracts, and the designation of the person authorized to sign the contracts on behalf of the County. Given that the Chief Public Defender is uniquely qualified to evaluate the capability of the individuals who will be performing these services, it is our recommendation that the Board delegate the selection of the attorneys and signature of the individual contracts with each attorney.
As proposed by the Commission.
The cost for contract attorneys is included in the FY20 grant budget for the Public Defender's Office.
Contract Attorney Agreement
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