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Legislature creates new defender job

YATES COUNTY—The Yates County Legislature created  a new position in the public defenders office when they met during their regular session Monday, Aug. 11. The new position is called the office of conflict defender, who will step in for the public defender in the event of a conflict of interest. The measure was approved after a public hearing, during which no members of the public spoke. The legislature also voted to fill several other existing positions that are vacant.
The resolution reads, “It is the intent of this local law to create the office of Yates County office of conflict defender to provide said mandated legal representation when a conflict of interest disqualifies the public defender.” The position has an annual salary of $33,000 and will be appointed by the legislature. The conflict defender will be appointed on or after Jan. 1, 2016 for a two-year term.
Legislator Doug Paddock spoke to the local law, addressing the need for the new position. He said while in fact the legislature is creating a position rather than filling a vacant one, the new role is “intended to reduce overall expenses with conflicts in the public defender’s office.” Legislator Leslie Church also added the position is part-time.
A corrections officer/court security position was also created during the meeting. Legislative Chairman Tim Dennis said this will help with the current overtime situation. In the Department of Social Services, a children’s services senior caseworker position vacant due to resignation was filled by promoting a current children’s services caseworker and filling that position. Another children’s services caseworker and public health nurse position vacant due to resignations were also filled during the meeting.
In other business:
• Legislator Mark Morris discussed what the public works committee intends to do to with their appeals process, saying several months ago they were given a directive to clarify it. Legislator James Multer said the committee decided to not further develop the current appeals process, with Legislator Dan Banach adding the motion failed for a second and died in committee.
• Legislator Gary Montgomery asked if there was going to be another informational session for the county’s dark fiber project, adding there are still many unanswered questions from the last meeting. Dennis said it is still a possibility but they have not yet worked out when to have one and if it should be its own special meeting or held in committee. Church said she believes the fiber project is very important for Yates County, adding it is vital for businesses to be able to compete.




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