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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

Counties in the News, August 15, 2014

NOTE: The Counties in the News will not be compiled for the week of 8/18-8/22, but will resume on 8/25/14. Thank you.

NATIONAL
Opportunity For All : Establishing a New “Made In Rural America” Export and Investment Initiative

LONG ISLAND
Mangano and Curran to Host Free Kids Health Day Event

HUDSON VALLEY
Nevele’s new CEO to fight for casino license, funding

County on the road to going green

CAPITAL
Capital Region women discuss challenges they face at work, home (Video)

NORTH COUNTRY
Jefferson County must agree to new storm water runoff rules

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Onondaga County to Spray After New Samples Test Positive for EEE

On this day in history in The Citizen: Aug. 15, 2014

FINGER LAKES
Way is paved for sale of Genesee County Nursing Home

WESTERN NEW YORK
P.W. Minor to stay open for business

Orleans Chamber expects strong events to close 2014

Strong winds, high waves expected on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario through Friday

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Counties in the News, August 14, 2014

STATEWIDE
Pension contributions rising

NEW YORK CITY
New law to alleviate school overcrowding in NYC

CAPITAL
Albany offered $1M a year to back Rensselaer casino plan

Supervisors approve C-GCC spending plan

NORTH COUNTRY
Jefferson County, Clayton endorse IJC’s Plan 2014

St. Lawrence International Film Festival premiere weekend scheduled for fall 2015

St. Lawrence County politicians urge state to keep jobs at Fort Drum, launch online petition

MOHAWK VALLEY
Herkimer County plans new communications tower

County approves Griffiss resolutions

SOUTHERN TIER
County funds CCE grazing specialist for another year

FINGER LAKES
Genesee Legislature declares nursing home as surplus property

Ticks — and Lyme risk — on the rise in Ontario County, Finger Lakes

WESTERN NEW YORK
Wyoming County taps Daly as new economic development chief

Allegany Town Board still mulling decision to rescind wind district

Survey shows that months after bitter cold, damage to wine grape crops varies along Lake Erie

IDA offers 10-year tax break on new gym at former school

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Counties in the News, August 13, 2014

NATIONAL
Obama Administration Hosts First “Made in Rural America” Forum to Promote Rural Exports

STATEWIDE
State VA sets new rules for ethics

HUDSON VALLEY
County Legislature welcomes college students to Dutchess County

Report Stresses Collaboration Among School Districts

Orange County christens state-of-the-art burn building at training center

CAPITAL
Albany County to roll out mobile mental health app

The income, property tax spinoff from GlobalFoundries

NORTH COUNTRY
Termination of bus service leaves county, residents stuck in neutral

FINGER LAKES
The Entrepreneurs Network seeks applications

WESTERN NEW YORK
County agreement with CSEA trades wage increase for some benefit relief
(Editorial)

Food stamp use keeps rising among Erie County’s older population

Supervisors tap new economic development chief

Tours on tap this week of two new Chautauqua Creek preserves

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Counties in the News, August 12, 2014

STATEWIDE
State email policy panned

HUDSON VALLEY
Children with special needs, their families invited to Aug. 21 picnic

CAPITAL
Albany County votes to ban the sale of tobacco products

NORTH COUNTRY
Clinton County paves Way to Wellville

Ti patient shuttle canceled

N.Y. agency to revise plans for new Adirondack lands

SOUTHERN TIER
Track Cleanup, Safety Evaluation Begins at WGI (Video)

FINGER LAKES
Monroe County gets OK for cellphone bill surcharge

Seneca Supervisors to consider accepting temporary water and sewer help from Waterloo

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Counties in the News, August 11, 2014

NYSAC
NYSAC 2014 Fall Conference Preview

STATEWIDE
Big push into casino business by N.Y. comes with red flags

LONG ISLAND
Nassau County gives back to veterans

NORTH COUNTRY
Corning expansion good news for county

MOHAWK VALLEY
Casino bid gets tossed

SOUTHERN TIER
State funding competition: Council IDs priority projects

Walton gears up for Delaware County Fair

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Great Race caps exciting, prosperous weekend for Cayuga County, officials say

FINGER LAKES
With new law, county will be able to consider ‘best value’ instead of just ‘lowest price’ in bids

VA bringing mobile clinic to Livingston County

WESTERN NEW YORK
Localities will have chance to address sales tax issue

Niagara County looking at ‘green’ tax incentives

Cattaraugus Creek is focus of sea lamprey survey

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Counties in the News, Friday August 8, 2014

NYSAC
Red Cross Mobile Apps Boost Citizen Preparedness

LONG ISLAND
Thousands of officers in NYC and Long Island to get bulletproof vests through new program

HUDSON VALLEY
West Nile mosquito found in New Rochelle, more in Rockland

NORTH COUNTRY
Group of providers receives $500k to improve region’s health

MOHAWK VALLEY
For Sale: Slightly used prison, 20 acres, ‘as is’

Amsterdam’s “glimmer of hope” extinguished

SOUTHERN TIER
County takes to ‘tweeting’

Southern Tier Projects Recommended For Top Priority And State Funding

CENTRAL NEW YORK
County Legislature Highlights

FINGER LAKES
Legislature Approves Measure Setting Stage for Possible Sale of County Nurisng Home

WESTERN NEW YORK
Erie County Legislature approves borrowing through control board

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Counties in the News, August 7, 2014

NYSAC
NYSAC Fall Seminar 2014

HUDSON VALLEY
Therapists stop treating toddlers as N.Y. lags on payments

Dutchess jail temporary pods arriving soon, planning for new jail underway

Rockland Lawmakers Call for Panel on Anti-Semitism

Bridging the gap between farm and table

CAPITAL
Major General Greene honored with flags at half-staff

NORTH COUNTRY
Health Department one of 10 in national health competition

MOHAWK VALLEY
County to advertise for bids on Country Manor

CENTRAL NEW YORK
CSEA workers reject contract tentative agreement with Onondaga County

WESTERN NEW YORK
Legislature to hold hearing on ‘green’ tax incentives

Charter board captains expose government, tourism groups to sport fishing

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Counties in the News, August 6, 2014

NYC
NYC hospital awaits patient’s test results as U.S. aid worker with Ebola arrives in Atlanta

HUDSON VALLEY
Westchester Legislators Approve $5M In Funds For County Roads, Bridges

Neuhaus hopes to close budget gap by merging departments, selling properties, cutting vehicle use

CAPITAL
Cuomo orders flags at half-staff for general, Albany native Albany killed in Afghanistan

NORTH COUNTRY
Action on ethics policy nearing

Lewis County General Hospital Moving Forward with Repayment Plan

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Onondaga Co. Legislators Agree to Slow Approval Process for $100M Amphitheater

Onondaga County Legislature approves audit of county take-home cars

FINGER LAKES
Empire Farm Days kicks off today

WESTERN NEW YORK
County approves ice arena power

Legislature to approve measure that saves approximately $1 million

Niagara County to hold hearing on “green” tax exemptions

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Counties in the News, August 5, 2014

STATEWIDE
$4.2B extra, so now what?

State to screen volunteer firefighters for past sex offenses

Sprinkler mandate debated

LONG ISLAND
Governor Cuomo Deploying Mobile Command Center to Deliver Foreclosure Prevention Help to Long Island Homeowners

HUDSON VALLEY
County Board Calls for Strict Review Process of Proposed Pipeline

CAPITAL
Albany expands ban on smoking

NORTH COUNTRY
Property owners in debt to Essex County can’t bid at auction

Editorial: Great news on sales tax

SOUTHERN TIER
Summer Youth Employment Program a success

FINGER LAKES
Goulds Pumps Expands in Seneca Falls
(Video)

WESTERN NEW YORK
Erie County exploring idea of municipal broadband

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Counties in the News, Monday August 4, 2014

STATEWIDE
BOE approves language for redistricting amendment

LONG ISLAND
Tax Exemption Workshop To Be Held

Nassau police test dashboard video cameras

HUDSON VALLEY
Putnam Courthouse lights to turn purple

NORTH COUNTRY
Jefferson County board to consider resolution supporting Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system plan

North country agencies receive $1 million to help crime victims

SOUTHERN TIER
Dangerous hogweed spreading in Southern Tier

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Cayuga County farmland protection plan now available for public review

WESTERN NEW YORK
County Legislature Weighing Options For Legal Services Savings

Catt. Co. Legislature Votes To Improve Nursing Homes

County Legislature reviewing ethics and disclosure policy

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