Contact Us

 

COUNTIES COLLABORATE ON CONFLICT DEFENDER SERVICES

By Colleen Pillus, Dutchess County and Mark Longtoe, Ulster County

In December, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Dutchess County   Executive Marc Molinaro jointly announced a shared services agreement  between the two counties to address the soaring State-mandated costs of  providing legal defense counsel to indigent clients. The county executives  have forged a cooperative agreement to garner a level of cost containment over a State mandated expense that has now reached a combined total of  nearly $3.9 million annually in Ulster and Dutchess counties, while maintaining high quality representation.

To date, when a Public Defender’s Office is disqualified from representing an eligible indigent client due to a legal conflict, a private attorney is  assigned. The attorney then bills the county according to rates established by New York State in a process referred to as “assigned counsel.”

The skyrocketing cost, coupled with decreased program aid from New York State, has placed a significant additional burden on counties to cover the cost of this mandated service. In 2011, this system of providing representation cost Ulster County taxpayers $1,345,653 while Dutchess  County taxpayers spent $2,540,000.

“Governments at every level must learn to work past political differences and municipal boundaries to focus on delivering results for the people. I am confident that the citizens of Ulster and Dutchess will benefit from this innovative collaboration,” said Ulster County Executive Hein.

County Executive Hein continued, “Not only does this pilot program  represent a $175,000 savings for Ulster County’s taxpayers, it represents a $300,000 total savings for our region’s taxpayers, all while those in need continue to receive high quality legal representation. This is truly a  win/win collaboration, and we both look forward to working with our respective legislatures to make it a reality.”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “This agreement is the  first of its kind in New York State for county Public Defender’s Offices and  represents exactly the type of cooperative partnerships we need to embrace if we are to be successful in our efforts to deliver smaller, smarter government to our taxpayers. I am grateful to Public Defender Tom Angell for seeking out new and better ways to meet our residents’ needs, while reducing costs. We were very pleased to bring this plan to Ulster County and appreciate the support and cooperation of County Executive Hein to  make this partnership a reality.”

Ulster County Public Defender Andrew Kossover added, “I want to thank  both County Executive Hein and County Executive Molinaro for this  innovative, cooperative approach to a fiscal problem that is plaguing  counties throughout the State. I am excited to take part in this shared  service arrangement, and look forward to working with Dutchess County’s  Public Defender Thomas Angell.”

Dutchess County Public Defender Thomas Angell noted, “This new  arrangement will permit each of our Public Defender Offices to create cost efficiencies while at the same time increasing the quality of legal services  provided. I look forward to this new partnership with Ulster County Public Defender’s Office. Our clients will better served by having access to full time defenders as well as the investigators, social workers and outside resources that our respective Public Defender Offices can provide.”

The one year agreement unveiled today will be a pilot program in County Court, City of Kingston Court and Town of Ulster Court in Ulster County;  and County Court and City of Poughkeepsie Court in Dutchess County.

Posted in NYSAC News Winter 2013 | Comments Off

NYSAC News Spring/Summer 2014 Table of Contents

Posted in NYSAC News Spring/Summer 2014 | Comments Off

NYSAC News Fall 2014 Table of Contents

Posted in Counties in the News, NYSAC News Fall 2014 | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at NYSAC !!

NYSAC
Taste NY Connects Consumers with Homegrown Products

NEW YORK CITY
Helium helps give NYC parade a lift

HUDSON VALLEY
National Grid storm information

Rockland County Charter changes take effect

Two Orange County Farms to Receive Over $1.4 Million Grant

Holiday STOP-DWI campaign kicks off

NORTH COUNTRY
County, town workers return after helping Buffalo dig out

MOHAWK VALLEY
County adopts $87.6 million budget

SOUTHERN TIER
Broome adopts $365M budget for 2015

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Officials of the Oswego County Legislature proclaims National Adoption Day

FINGER LAKES
Monroe County to take part in holiday DWI crackdown

WESTERN NEW YORK
Wyoming approves painful 2015 budget

Allegany County adopts $121.2M budget for 2015

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 25, 2014

NYSAC
Tioga County Receives Risk Award

Statewide
Cornell and Fiscal Policy Institute Hosting December 9th Event:

Local Fiscal Stress: State Austerity Policy and Creative Local Response

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester lawmakers approve reform to county budget process

MTA: Developer must respect Harrison housing requirements

CAPITAL
$2.45M renovation project OK’d

Forecasters say snow will vex Wednesday travelers

NORTH COUNTRY
Lewis County asked to help further fund the Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper Mill demolition

No speakers on Essex County budget

MOHAWK VALLEY
Former Oneida County Executive Dies

Police on look-out for drunk drivers on Thanksgiving

SOUTHERN TIER
Legislators Pass Steuben County Budget

Counties see surge in sales tax revenue

Chemung County Budget Approved

Steuben Legislature Wants Inpatient Care Kept at St. James Mercy Hospital

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Committee looks at options for old county jail property

FINGER LAKES
Seneca County supervisors to discuss land bank

WESTERN NEW YORK
Can Communities Get FEMA Funding?

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 24, 2014

NYSAC
Maintaining Septic Systems Saves Residents Money and Protects Local Waters, Public Health

STATEWIDE
Cuomo signs bill legalizing sparklers

HUDSON VALLEY
Rockland: Fraud detection program saves county $1.5M

CAPITAL
Heavy snow could upend Thanksgiving travel

Albany, Rensselaer counties answer call to help in western New York

MOHAWK VALLEY
Schoharie OKs budget with 4.1 percent tax hike

SOUTHERN TIER
Hospital closing concerns county legislators

WESTERN NEW YORK
Evacuation plans readied as Buffalo flooding looms

Foundations support Palliative Care Program

Abandoned Cars Found on County Website

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 20, 2014

NYSAC
Oneida County History

STATEWIDE
Snowstorm Again Pounds Western New York

LONG ISLAND
Toys For Tots Makes The Holidays Brighter

Mangano: Outdoor Ice Rinks to Open for the 2014-2015 Season

NEW YORK CITY
New York Today: Plastic Bag Talk

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester green vehicle fleet signed into law

Ulster County lawmakers oppose Common Core educational standards

Westchester Knicks keep crowd happy

SOUTHERN TIER
Mountain Fresh Dairy to Move into Former Crowley Plant in Binghamton

CENTRAL NEW YORK
How the Cayuga County Legislature has amended the proposed 2015 budget so far

Health Officials Urge People to Get Flu Shots

FINGER LAKES
East Bloomfield OKs dog control law

WESTERN NEW YORK
Erie County Officials Confirm Eight Deaths Due to Buffalo Snow

Bills Get Snow Day and Logistics Headache

Erie County budget hearing set for Thursday is postponed

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 19, 2014

NYSAC
How the New GASB Requirements on Public Pension Funds Impact Financial Reporting

STATEWIDE
Silver: Use surplus for infrastructure

NYRA’s governing structure under review

LONG ISLAND
Mangano and Eisenstein Offer “Turkey Tips” To Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal

HUDSON VALLEY
Walkway to launch marathon in June

CAPITAL
Cool but spared from heavy snow

MOHAWK VALLEY
Griffiss closer to landing Customs office

County reduces proposed tax rate

SOUTHERN TIER
Info line launched for Otsego, Delaware counties

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Cayuga County Ways and Means Committee mulls motor vehicle tax

WESTERN NEW YORK
National Guard is deployed to help as the snow keeps coming

Group seeks to bring broadband to parts of Orleans and Niagara counties

Thruway Authority aids more than 100 snow-stranded drivers

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 18, 2014

NYSAC
AARPNYS 50+Survey

NATION
Mike Hein honored as Public Official of the Year

STATEWIDE
Tax cap puts pressure on local governments

Cuomo: Settlement money won’t go to operating expenses — like school aid

LONG ISLAND
Nassau County to Honor Two Police Officers That Saved a Residents Life And Apprehended An Armed Criminal

CAPITAL
Better economy not seen at area food pantries

Previous winter, current shortage blamed for spike in rock salt cost

Greene County weighs options for replacing its 106-year-old jail

Optimism spurs spending

Challenge raises money for local food bank

MOHAWK VALLEY
Pilot program to test 911 link into Oneida Co. schools

Local foster care cases climb, funding falls

County landfill fees set to decline

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Salvation Army’s Annual ‘Red Kettle’ Campaign Under Way

Onondaga County to provide free flu vaccinations Wednesday

WESTERN NEW YORK
Counties fight tax sale lawsuit

Genesee County legislature approves big-game rifle hunts

Genesee tax rate holding firm for 2015 budget proposal

Erie County DPW crews geared up for winter

Orleans celebrates bridge reopening

Sales Tax Revenue On The Upswing

Thruway, other highways closed in western New York

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 17, 2014

NYSAC
View the Fall 2014 issue of NYSAC News

STATEWIDE
Tax cap puts pressure on local governments

Cuomo: Settlement money won’t go to operating expenses — like school aid

Follow-up: Canal flood warning system heading for completion

New York manufacturing grows at faster pace

LONG ISLAND
Meet Long Island’s newly elected lawmakers

CAPITAL
Better economy not seen at area food pantries

Previous winter, current shortage blamed for spike in rock salt cost

Greene County weighs options for replacing its 106-year-old jail

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester’s new green vehicle law lauded by Dutchess lawmaker

Neuhaus predicts as many as 200 layoffs if legislature’s budget stands

MOHAWK VALLEY
Manufacturing jobs continue to decline locally

Lawmakers push for DFAS protection in bill

Local foster care cases climb, funding falls

County landfill fees set to decline

Legislature to weigh non-bargaining proposal

FINGER LAKES
Seneca County board OKs work to improve water/sewer districts

Seneca County officials to Albany: award license to Tyre casino

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Onondaga County to provide free flu vaccinations Wednesday

SOUTHERN TIER
Broome County Legislators Suggest Replacing DA Clerical Position

WESTERN NEW YORK
Genesee County legislature approves big-game rifle hunts

Genesee tax rate holding firm for 2015 budget proposal

Erie County DPW crews geared up for winter

Round two of health care enrollment in state exchange off to good start

Sales Tax Revenue On The Upswing

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 14, 2014

NYSAC
In Madison County, Tons of E-waste Collected

STATEWIDE
Broad coalition joins Farm Bureau in opposition to expanded Clean Water Act

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester may ban plastic bags

CAPITAL
Rensselaer County Legislature holds budget hearing

NORTH COUNTRY
Property Taxes to Rise As Lawmakers Pass County Budget

SOUTHERN TIER
Brooks unveils county budget that complies with tax cap

Delaware board discusses solar-power initiative

County aids in property foreclosure legal battle

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Salvation Army Counter Kettle Battle

FINGER LAKES
Sparring continues between Seneca, Oneida counties

Ontario County’s $212.9M budget OK’d

Ontario County’s Korean War veterans receive South Korea’s thanks

No tax hike in county budget plan

Genesee County Airport work receives final approval

WESTERN NEW YORK
Poloncarz gets flu shot, encourages others to follow his lead

County Completes Integrated Sewer Management Plan

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, Wednesday November 12, 2014

NYSAC
The Millennial Remaking of Community Is Well Underway

STATEWIDE
Sponsors condemn Cuomo for vetoing veterans pension bill

NYS Veterans Affairs Director: Pension Sweetener ‘Not Dead’

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester Legislators Consider Plastic Bag Ban

DeStefano hopes Orange County agrees to move into city space

Astorino budget proposal would boost spending 1 percent.

Westchester increases fuel efficiency of motor vehicle fleet

CAPITAL
Honoring veterans by increasing mental health care

NORTH COUNTRY
Jefferson County Budget Carries First Tax Hike in Nine Years

Northern Tier Recreation Trail to connect Clinton County villages

MOHAWK VALLEY
County budget vote today; fire district funds in question

SOUTHERN TIER
SUNY Broome salutes veterans (with photos and video)

Broome County Auction of Tax Foreclosure Properties Takes Place Saturday

FINGER LAKES
Seneca County’s Hayssen to Oneida County’s Picente: Let’s hold I-90 Casino Corridor Summit

Sheriff’s personnel complete training

WESTERN NEW YORK
Nesbitt to deliver budget message Wednesday

Chautauqua County Executive discusses planned improvements in water district

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment

Counties in the News, November 10, 2014

NYSAC
Working with the State: Understanding the Legislative Cycle and How It Impacts County Advocacy Efforts

STATEWIDE
New York pushing back on emissions

New York: Be Prepared to Save on Energy Costs This Winter

LONG ISLAND
Mangano Announces “Kids Helping Kids” Holiday Benefit

CAPITAL
Rensselaer County veterans honored at 16th annual Veterans Breakfast

Greene County Legislature to rescind law allowing it to override state tax cap

MOHAWK VALLEY
Seneca County official blasts Turning Stone protectionists

NORTH COUNTRY
Essex County arrives at tentative budget

SOUTHERN TIER
County Announces Watershed Project in Town of Union

Addiction Center of Broome County Hosts Chocolate Fundraiser  (Video)

FINGER LAKES
Seneca County official blasts Turning Stone protectionists

WESTERN NEW YORK
Erie County to start next phase of Goodrich Road reconstruction

Posted in Counties in the News | Leave a comment