The New Humboldt County Public Defender, Whose Hiring Has
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The new Humboldt County public defender, whose hiring has raised questions in the local legal community, said he is ready to start working this week. And he is responding to the criticism levied in his direction.
David Marcus, the Lassen County Public Defender from 2005 to 2011 who has spent the past five years working as the CEO of a dental company and a contract lawyer on the East Coast, said he’ll be in town Wednesday.
“The first thing I’ll do is to really get to know the people in the office,” Marcus said. “I need to see what’s important for them to get their job done.”
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors announced the hiring of Marcus on Feb. 7 following Kevin Robinson’s retirement last month.
A week later at the next Board of…show more content… He rejected claims the panel was skewed in anyone’s favor.
“We wanted folks that have regular interaction with the Public Defender’s office,” Fulks said. “We went to the very best of the best for this.”
In total, the county received 19 applications from prospective public defender candidates; six were invited to interview. Ultimately, five candidates were interviewed separately for the job by both the Board Of Supervisors and the advisory panel during a series of interviews that lasted all day, according to Fulks.
At least three of the applicants were from the county’s defender offices, according to multiple sources familiar with the application process.
When asked why he did not invite private criminal defense attorneys to serve on the expert panel, Fulks said he doubted they would want to serve on the panel for free.
“It’s my belief, based on experience, that asking someone from the private sector to come in and volunteer the entire day with no pay — that no one would do that,” Fulks said.
Rael, and local attorneys Beorn Zepp, Zachary Curtis, David Nims and Patrik Griego each said they would have served on the panel pro bono had they been asked.
“We would have been happy to serve without pay,” Rael said. “I know others that have served on hiring panels before — for nothing. It’s bogus. They just had to pick up the phone