ILNews

Chief public defender delays departure

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Expect to see David E. Cook's face at the Marion County Public Defender Agency a little longer than anticipated.

The chief public defender is delaying for a month his departure - originally planned for Feb. 15 - to help make sure the agency has adequate leadership while its board of directors searches for a successor. Cook is stepping down after 12 years as the county's top public defender to work for immigration firm Gresk & Singleton in Indianapolis.

Because the agency needed leadership and his new law firm offered some flexibility, Cook agreed to stay a little longer.

"We're very grateful to him for being willing to stay and give us more time," said board chairman Jimmie McMillian, an associate at Barnes & Thornburg. "He had an opportunity to stay, and once we saw that opportunity existed we didn't hesitate to ask vigorously."

The decision means the board won't have to appoint an interim director while it searches for a successor, McMillian said.

Ten attorneys applied for the position by the Feb. 1 deadline, and the board originally planned to conduct interviews next week. Scheduling conflicts prevented that, and first interviews are now planned for Feb. 26 and second interviews are slated for March 3, McMillian said. The board will determine the next step after those second interviews, he added.

Complicating the timeline is that the new administration is still making appointments to the board, which consists of nine people - four named by the presiding Superior Court judge, four by the City-County Council, and one by the Indianapolis mayor. After the board makes a decision, the City-County Council has confirmation power and must approve the appointment.

He would not disclose the applicants' names, but McMillian said all applicants needed to have five years experience as an attorney, including at least two years handling criminal cases and at least 10 jury trials that reached a verdict. The person ultimately chosen will oversee a staff of about 250 full-time and contract attorneys, and will be the public face of the organization on indigent public defense.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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