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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