Jeanette Wolfberg reports in The Columbia Paper
that Columbia County supervisors let longtime public defender Robert Linville go after one county supervisor told him the county Republican Caucus “wants the public defender to go in a different direction.” Wolfberg writes, "Neither the supervisor who spoke to Linville nor Supervisor Matt Murell (R-Stockport), Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, would comment on the matter." Linville held the position for 18 years. Instead, the board appointed Dominic Cornelius as public defender, and did not fill the newly created nighttime assistant public defender position. Cornelius was recently assistant to the Columbia County Attorney, and has been assistant district attorney to Greene County DA Terry Wilhelm, Greene County public defender, and assistant district attorney to Columbia County DA Paul Czajka. Cornelius said he wants more contact between attorneys and clients, including clients in the county jail. “Having someone talk to you at length,” he said, can have a positive effect on the outcome of the case. “People have a right to know how their case is progressing. Imagine sitting in jail and hearing nothing about your case.” Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.