ILNews

Public defender facing suspension

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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A Marion County public defender is being suspended from his job after his arrest during an undercover child sex sting this weekend.

The chair of the public defender office's board of directors confirmed that Ryan Snyder, 29, is being suspended today and the Marion County Public Defender's Agency is determining whether that will be paid leave or not.

"We don't want to be premature, and we have to let the judicial system work," said chair Jimmie McMillian, an associate with Indianapolis firm Barnes & Thornburg. "We've instituted protocols within our office that whenever we suspend a person, they not have access to cases, computers, or the office."

McMillian said he spoke this morning with Chief Public Defender David E. Cook, who could not be immediately reached by Indiana Lawyer today.

An undercover Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective arrested Snyder about noon Feb. 17 after that detective posed online as a 15-year-old girl who was willing to meet the public defender at a pre-arranged location on the city's south side for sex, a police report detailed. The report notes that he'd used the Internet to set up a meeting, and he had previously e-mailed an explicit photo to a detective - all while believing the receiver was an underage girl.

Snyder was arrested on charges of child solicitation and dissemination of information harmful to a minor.

The Indiana Roll of Attorneys shows Snyder was admitted to practice in September 2005, and the Marion County Public Defender's Agency lists him as a defender assigned to Marion Superior Judge Becky Pierson-Treacy in Criminal Court 19.

Despite the embarrassing situation involving Snyder, those on the agency's board don't want this to reflect poorly on the office or other public defenders.

"This is obviously no reflection on the fine public defenders we have who do great work," McMillian said.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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