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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

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Counties in the News, December 19, 2014

NYSAC
Property Tax Relief Must Come From Local Efficiencies and State Mandate Relief

To watch NYSAC’s Testimony to the New York State Assembly committees on Local Government, Cities and Real Property, visit http://nystateassembly.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2002 (NYSAC’s testimony runs from the beginning through minute 33:27).

STATEWIDE
More PEF members may be reclassified

LONG ISLAND
Heroes and Helpers Event to Help Westbury School District Children

HUDSON VALLEY
Sullivan County tax levy increase for 2015 under 1.5 percent

Astorino Hails Banner Year for Westchester Industrial, Local Development

Rockland seeks nominations for Civil Rights Hall of Fame

CAPITAL
Geraghty of Warrensburg chosen to lead Warren Co. board

NORTH COUNTRY
Is St. Lawrence County getting cheap hydroelectricity? It’s complicated.

MOHAWK VALLEY
Legislature adopts $99.5 million budget

County eyes new wing for $3.5M

SOUTHERN TIER
Schuyler, Yates Counties Move Forward with Consolidation Study
(Video)

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Onondaga Co. Workers, Volunteer Firefighters Thanked for Helping During Buffalo Snow Storm
(Video)

WESTERN NEW YORK
Proposed E-Cigarette Restrictions Head to Committee
(Video)

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Counties in the News, December 18,2014

STATEWIDE
Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State

Board Backs Casinos in the Catskills, Near Albany and in Central New York

LONG ISLAND
Mangano Salutes “Kids Helping Kids, By Kids Way Inc.”

HUDSON VALLEY
Astorino, Odell Team Up For Vets Job Fair

Ulster County Executive signs executive order to restructure employment application process

NORTH COUNTRY
St. Lawrence County awarded grant for indigent defense

College studying Washington County presence

MOHAWK VALLEY
Herkimer Co. Legislature approves budget, new commissioners

Vehicle fee approved by legislature

FINGER LAKES
EQ panel to hear landfill request update

Blue Angels Flying Back to Rochester in 2015 (Video)

WESTERN NEW YORK
Whitford appointed to Chautauqua County Legislature

Cattaraugus County ‘safety net’ expenses increase

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Counties in the News, December 17, 2014

STATEWIDE
Bus trips planned to bring downstaters to New York ski areas

HUDSON VALLEY
DCC grew from former hospital

Orange County Mental Health commissioner also named DSS chief

Runway realignment begins at Orange County Airport

CAPITAL
Proposal aims to arm probation officers in Washington County

College studying Washington County presence

Saratoga County recognizes Vietnam veteran Eric M. Haase

Albany County Legislature OKs ‘Toxic-free Toys Act’

NORTH COUNTRY
North Country leaders look forward to upcoming legislative session

Consider the history before criticizing county over tax hike | Editorial

MOHAWK VALLEY
DWI Holiday Crackdown in effect in Oneida County

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Cayuga County Legislature passes 2015 budget, law banning natural gas waste on county roads

Chiefs’ $1 million plan to fix up NBT Bank Stadium gets OK from Onondaga County Legislature

ALTON MARKS 20 YEARS OF SERVICE

FINGER LAKES
Crackdown on impaired driving in Genesee County is underway

Ontario supervisors move meeting to County Road 48

WESTERN NEW YORK
ECIDA, SBA offer low-interest loans for storm damages

Start-Up NY energizing region

Erie Co. to Consider Banning E-Cigarettes in Indoor Public Spaces

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Counties in the News, December 16, 2014

STATEWIDE
Regents seek a $2 billion school funding increase

State looks to pull 1,000 employees out of PEF

Time Warner fights to keep plans secret

LONG ISLAND
Suffolk comptroller moves to recoup jail officer’s illegal pay

HUDSON VALLEY
Molinaro signs Dutchess County’s 2015 budget

Dutchess lawmakers approve $1 million for farmland protection

CAPITAL
Saratoga County, Halfmoon seeking payment for water supply costs

NORTH COUNTRY
St. Lawrence County legislators approve CSEA contract

DEC Plan Guides Interim Management of Essex Lakes Complex

MOHAWK VALLEY
County sets contracts in place for 2015

SOUTHERN TIER
Steuben Legislature OKs election commissioners, anti-drug laws

CENTRAL NEW YORK
2015 budget, gas waste ban and motor vehicle tax highlight busy Cayuga County Legislature meeting

Cornell Cooperative Extension is ‘team Oswego County’

WESTERN NEW YORK
Ribbon cutting for new isolation room at Niagara County SPCA

Wyoming hospital recognized for improving patient safety

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Counties in the News, December 15, 2014

NYSAC
Register early for the 2015 Legislative Conference (February 2-4, 2015)

STATEWIDE
Coalition calls for $5 billion surplus to go for roads

Upstate-downstate divisions put to the test

LONG ISLAND
County Rolls Out Smart911 Service

Nassau County to Honor Police Officers For Saving Local Resident In House Fire And Apprehending Armed Robber

HUDSON VALLEY
Approval of 2015 Westchester Budget Tops Week’s News In Briarcliff

CAPITAL
Rensselaer County Legislature passes resolution calling for a safety study of Route 7

NORTH COUNTRY
DANC paying counties $220,000 to cover recycling cost of tube TVs, monitors

Essex County passes best value procurement law

Common Ground Alliance issues updated Blueprint for the Blue Line

MOHAWK VALLEY
Herkimer Co. Board of Elections changing

Cruelty law hearing planned

SOUTHERN TIER
Steuben renews prescription discount plan

Secondhand shop law targets drug trade

CENTRAL NEW YORK
County OKs Spending Plan For 2015

FINGER LAKES
YWCA to establish new Helpline

WESTERN NEW YORK
Chautauqua County legislators discuss developing proactive new commission

Niagara, Orleans counties seeking bidders for broadband

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Counties in the News, December 12, 2014

STATEWIDE
Duffy Gives Perhaps His Final Public Address As LG

NEW YORK CITY
After 45 Years, Manhattan Clerk Is Issuing His Last Call for Jury Duty

HUDSON VALLEY
Mid-Hudson wins $82.8 million in regional project funding from the state

Cuomo: State could limit TZB, Thruway tolls

CAPITAL
Albany region awarded $60M in state economic awards

Senate to consider Medal of Honor for Henry Johnson

NORTH COUNTRY
Heroin is poison, new approach needed, educator says

MOHAWK VALLEY
Legislature to vote on $99.5 million budget

911, local phone service out around Canajoharie

SOUTHERN TIER
Southern Tier gets $80.8M for jobs, infrastructure

CENTRAL NEW YORK
County Legislature passes 2015 budget

FINGER LAKES
State funds boost Finger Lakes projects

Seneca County board OKs budget

WESTERN NEW YORK
Governor Cuomo Takes Next Step to Help WNY Recover from November Snow Storm

Chautauqua County projects receive funding

Cattaraugus County establishes land bank

State grants help area projects

Legislators Want Numbers Before Approving Airport FBO Contract

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County Leaders Name Dutchess County Executive Molinaro to Board

December 8, 2014

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro has been appointed to serve on the New York State Association of Counties’ Board of Directors.

“I look forward to working with my fellow board members and county leaders from across the state on the important issues that impact us all,” said Molinaro.

Molinaro will work with the NYSAC Board to uphold the organization’s mission to represent, educate, and advocate for New York’s counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public. In 2015, the association will celebrate its 90th anniversary.

Molinaro was first elected to be Dutchess County Executive in November 2011. He took office in January 2012. At the age of 36, he was the youngest County Executive in Dutchess County history. Prior to serving as County Executive, Molinaro spent six years representing the 103rd District in the New York State Assembly.

“County Executive Molinaro’s knowledge of and experience in local and state government will be an asset to the association as we advocate for the needs of New York’s counties and taxpayers in 2015,” said NYSAC President Anthony Picente.

For more information about NYSAC and its members, visit www.NYSAC.org.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving all 62 counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate and advocate for member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

Media Contact: Mark LaVigne, NYSAC Deputy Director, mlavigne@nysac.org 518-465-1473

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Counties in the News, December 10, 2014

NYSAC
State Court Strikes Down Local Anti-Cyberbullying Law

STATEWIDE
Cuomo unveils state’s first Energy Mgmt. Network Operations Center; To improve energy efficiency in public facilities

LONG ISLAND
Mangano Announces A Santa “Roll Call” Competition For All Those Who Believe In The Power Of The Red Suit

HUDSON VALLEY
Astorino: No Tax Hikes, Layoffs In 2015 Westchester County Budget

CAPITAL
Rensselaer County, Troy reach dispatch deal

NORTH COUNTRY
Old Newsboys Day sale collects over $20k for Salvation Army

SOUTHERN TIER
Police plan to step up DWI enforcement

CENTRAL NEW YORK
On this day in history in The Citizen: Dec. 10, 2014

FINGER LAKES
Monroe County Legislature Passes 2015 Budget (Video)

WESTERN NEW YORK
Wyoming faces skilled labor shortage, supervisors told

Video contest to promote Chautauqua County

Regional tourism agency moves to Lafayette Square

Allegany County backs Friendship bridge name dedication

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Counties in the News, December 9, 2014

NYSAC
Pelletier Institute Committed to Educating New York’s County Leaders

HUDSON VALLEY
Diana to get back into county government

CAPITAL
County advances ban on toxic toys

Budget OK; cut in seats on hold

NORTH COUNTRY
North Country’s Randy Douglas to lead top local government group

MOHAWK VALLEY
Budget hearing set for Wednesday

Griffiss sells 1 million gallons of fresh fuel before expected

SOUTHERN TIER
Schuyler wants more large WGI events

CENTRAL NEW YORK
80% carbon emission reduction pledged by Tompkins, TCAD

FINGER LAKES
Tree-lighting ceremony at Monroe County Office Building

Seneca County looks into establishing land bank

WESTERN NEW YORK
New Erie County policy addresses low-volume, residential roads

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Counties in the News, December 8, 2014

NYSAC
Post-Hurricane Sandy Citizen Engagement Project

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester considers energy czar

Neuhaus to fill only essential positions

Dutchess County executive receives Groundbreaker’s Award

Putnam gets permission to improve Lake Gleneida shoreline

CAPITAL
Pay cuts proposed at Saratoga County nursing home

Major Adirondack conference Monday in Lake George

NORTH COUNTRY
Renewable energy company interested in building a facility in Lewis County

St. Lawrence County fills youth bureau, corrections, IT, public safety positions

FINGER LAKES
Ontario County sees profit from inmate boarding

IDA expands Xylem’s tax exemption

‘Lights on For Life’ Honors Victims of DWI

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