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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Lawrence County Defenders Office works to keep contractual attorney's cost in check

LAWRENCE COUNTY - JANUARY 18, 2023 - Lawrence County Chief Public Defender Tim Sledd reports his office continues to move forward and keep the contractual labor for public defender in check. At this time no contractual labor has been used since July.

Sledd reports the county was reimbursed approximately $400,000 from the State of Indiana in 2022. This amount is 40 percent of the costs associated with being a member of the Indiana Public Defender Commission. As long as, the Lawrence County Public Defender's office is incompliance with the rules, the county is reimbursed, 40 percent of the costs for criminal cases, and CHNS cases.

Since the approximate six months that Sledd was hired for the position, he was able to get the office staffing levels back to normal. The caseload has been manageable, and qualified attorneys are in place to be able to take on the cases assigned.

While Sheriff Greg Day reports that jail counts have started to edge up, Sledd believes part of that was arrests were down during the holidays and warrants for probation violations have increased slightly.

The move to the Lawrence County Courthouse Plaza is working well for the public defender's office. This has made it easier for clients to find the public defender's office. Sledd asked the commissioners to consider some modifications to his office with the removal of a wall to make room to take depositions on cases.

Lawrence County Public Defender's office was assigned over 1,054 cases last year. The budget for the public defender's office is just under $1 Million in 2023.


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