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.