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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 29, 2014

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

NYC
Law Boosts Oversight of Use of Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island

HUDSON VALLEY
Orange County to receive $11.5 million to clean up storm damage

Westchester County BOL Will Meet To Decide Playland’s Future

CAPITAL
Albany County Legislature downsizing off the table this year

Employees leave, county scrambles

NORTH COUNTRY
Franklin County legislators OK NCCC budget

Cuomo announces fund offering $10M in loans for NNY businesses

SOUTHERN TIER
Delaware board gives cool reception to federal rule

WESTERN NEW YORK
Turbines big business for WNY town

Poloncarz says Stadium Group waiting on report

Erie County Posts Job for Commissioner of Social Services

County Legislature urges state ban on tobacco sales in pharmacies

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Counties in the News, August 28, 2014

NYSAC
2014 Fall Seminar, September 22-24, 2014, Buffalo Niagara Convention Center/Buffalo Hyatt

STATEWIDE
State to investigate Time Warner outage

State overtime: $316M

HUDSON VALLEY
Rockland legislators decline most of Day’s job cuts

Ramapo’s tax deal for developer upsets village, county

CAPITAL
FEEDING THE COUNTY

NORTH COUNTRY
Lewis County emergency communications project on schedule and under budget

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Auburn’s power agency, water system could see changes through proposed referendums

FINGER LAKES
Monroe County to test CodeRED — new emergency notification system

WESTERN NEW YORK
Orleans may raise income limits for senior tax exemptions

County Legislature to Wait On Compliance/Privacy Officer

County acts quickly to call for repairs on Four Rod Rd.

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Counties in the News, August 27, 2014

NATION
States Ordered to Cover Autism Services under Medicaid

Being Unemployed Makes It Harder to Get a Job. Can States Fix the Problem?

STATEWIDE
Political, environmental organizations gather for Anti-train Bomb Rally

HUDSON VALLEY
Open Government lesson for Sullivan

TOR buses bolstered after breakdowns hobble service

CAPITAL
Lawson Lake struck with algae bloom

NORTH COUNTRY
Cuomo: “It can be done”

Home sweet home: Jefferson Community College cuts ribbon on new dormitory

Sutherland says Parishville will see significant jump in workers’ comp costs

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Voices from public hearing on the proposed Onondaga Lake amphitheater

WESTERN NEW YORK
Wayne County supervisors oppose Lake Ontario plan

SUNY Fredonia Incubator Welcomes County IDA

County saves $900,000-plus in bond refinance agreement

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Counties in the News, August 26, 2014

NYSAC
2014 Fall Seminar

STATEWIDE
New York won’t celebrate 350th birthday

Control of cable at issue

HUDSON VALLEY
Proposed sale of Orange County Government Center moves forward

Day wants to privatize Rockland County jobs

Rockland County Executive Ed Day donates more than an acre of land to Hi Tor Animal Care Center in Pomona to help care for pets (Video)

Gap plans to add 1,200 jobs in Dutchess County

Sullivan supports casino tax break

MOHAWK VALLEY
Ossenfort to present Montgomery County Budget

Montgomery Co. State of Emergency lifted, boil water advisory still in effect

SOUTHERN TIER
Steuben Legislature asks state, feds for flood help

Three New B.C. Legislatures Sworn In (Video)

FINGER LAKES
Seneca supers to look at change in inmate health services

WESTERN NEW YORK
As enrollment at private colleges drops, SUNY campuses gain

Federal funds approved to strengthen Western New York bridges

Niagara County seeks vendors for annual technology forum

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Counties in the News, August 25, 2014

STATEWIDE
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES CITIZEN PREPAREDNESS CORPS TRAINING ONLINE

LONG ISLAND
County forgives $2.4M in bad speed-camera tickets

HUDSON VALLEY
Fixing TOR

Ulster County won’t pay for elections

County executive may be topic for new Sullivan charter commission

NORTH COUNTRY
Lewis County Recreation, Forestry and Parks Department looks to purchase new vehicle

Supervisors move closer to eminent domain use for airport project

MOHAWK VALLEY
Marcy nano site takes next step: Wetland mitigation to begin soon

SOUTHERN TIER
New tenants eye former Sikorsky facilities

FINGER LAKES
FLCC student joins Board of Trustees

WESTERN NEW YORK
‘Truth in Taxation’ to be pulled from Orleans County tax bills

County Looking For New Planning Board Member

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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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