ILNews

Chief public defender resigning

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The chief public defender in Marion County plans to leave his post in February.

Chief Public Defender David E. Cook submitted his resignation this week, announcing his intent to stay on until Feb 15. so that a successor can be found.

Cook has been the most visible face of the organization since 1995, two years after it was established. He's a former deputy prosecutor and defense attorney, who's now been the agency's chief executive responsible for working with judges and elected officials and educating the public.

"He's certainly raised the profile of the agency and left a high standard to follow," said Barnes & Thornburg attorney Jimmie McMillian, who sits on the county's Public Defender Agency Board and oversees Cook's office. "The agency's growth in the past 12 years has been tremendous on Dave's watch, and many of the great things you see happening there today are because of him. You have to be grateful for what he's done."

The nine-member board of directors hopes to find a replacement before February, McMillian said. A key part of the job is having the ability to be the face of the organization and being able to educate state and local government officials, he said. The board hopes to look for someone local who knows Marion County and issues well, McMillian said.

While the directors appoint a replacement, that person is subject to City-County Council confirmation.
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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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