Ulster County adding two attorneys to Public Defender’s Office
Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman that the Ulster County Legislature on March 17 voted 19 to 4 to create two new full-time positions in the county's Public Defender's Office. Each position will carry an annual salary of $85,000 plus benefits. The county will be reimbursed for the positions through a Hurrell-Harring grant from the New York State Office of Indigent Services. Minority Leader Ken Ronk expressed the concern that the cost of the new positions will eventually fall to county taxpayers. “The problem is, grant funding is all well and good until it goes away,” he said. Ronk was one of four representatives that voted against the measure. He said he is concerned about the number of new positions created since the pandemic ended, including positions that were vacated as part of the county’s retirement incentive program. “Eventually somebody’s got to stand up and say ‘no,'” said the Wallkill Republican. The Public Defender’s Office provides legal representation to indigent clients in the criminal and family courts, as well as at the appellate level. In addition to Ronk, Dean Fabiano, Herbert Litts, and Kevin Roberts, all Republicans, voted "no" on the resolution. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.