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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

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Counties in the News, July 31, 2014

NATIONAL
A State-by-State Look at Where Each Generation Lives

STATEWIDE
New York State Sheriffs Shying Away From Immigration Detention

Bill impasse puts state cash at risk

Cuomo is pressured to expedite program’s rollout

HUDSON VALLEY
Neuhaus: Woodbury Commons draws Orange casino bids

Orange County works on plan to cut massive deficit

CAPITAL
Video visits debut at Rensselaer County Jail

Albany County meningitis case poses little community risk

Albany County launches ‘Uncommon Scents’ hotline

MOHAWK VALLEY
Picente unveils 2020 plan

CENTRAL NEW YORK
More EEE virus turns up in CNY, this time in Madison County

Onondaga Lake Amphitheater Project on a Fast-Track to Boost Local Economy

FINGER LAKES
Casella Waste Systems hands out college scholarships

Finger Lakes winemakers ask NY: Deny gas storage permits along Seneca Lake

WESTERN NEW YORK
Sales tax funds sought by pair of legislators for struggling municipalities

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Counties in the News, July 30, 2014

STATEWIDE
Feds: State owes $1.5B

HUDSON VALLEY
Legislators Push For More Eco-friendly Vehicles In Westchester

Westchester Expands Online Access To Archives

Dutchess gets final state OK for housing pods at county jail

CAPITAL
Odds slightly favor casinos in the region

Family movie nights return to Schenectady County

Albany County stood by justice

Greulich’s owners owe unpaid taxes

NORTH COUNTRY
JCC board of trustees elects officers

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Farmers’ Market Week starts Monday

WESTERN NEW YORK
Niagara County proposal: free taxes for LEED buildings

Allegany Co. saves $83,000 by hiring internal deputy administrator, promoting secretary

Ice arena getting power from Empower Niagara

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Counties in the News, July 29, 2014

STATEWIDE
Retiree benefits changing

A $200M Medicaid bill

LONG ISLAND
Mangano Announces Free Screening of Ralph Macchio’s New Short Film Across Grace Alley

HUDSON VALLEY
Dutchess gets final state OK for jail pods

Moody’s upgrades Rockland’s credit rating

CAPITAL
Speed rail safety steps

C-GCC looking at 3 percent tuition increase

SOUTHERN TIER
Legislature OKs equipment rental to town

FINGER LAKES
Relentless Rain Swamps Communities Across Ontario County

Travel advisory issued for Monroe County

WESTERN NEW YORK
Conner Road Crusaders Want County to Fix Road Now

‘Primetime’ Grants Keep Kids Across Erie County Engaged All Summer

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Counties in the News, July 28, 2014

NYC
Balancing Special-Education Needs With Rising Costs

HUDSON VALLEY
Lower Hudson Valley getting film/TV close-ups

Wheelchair-accessible signs to get makeover in NY

CAPITAL
Prison set to close, but not quietly

Car-sharing program in Albany has wheels on the ground

NORTH COUNTRY
Plattsburgh Airport to receive $76,000

Clinton County bans hydrofracking

St. Lawrence County IDA names industrial park building after Ernest LaBaff

MOHAWK VALLEY
County funds a short-term boost for College Now program

FINGER LAKES
Brooks: No Seneca Nation-run casino in Monroe County

CENTRAL NEW YORK
LEGISLATOR PROCLAIMS ADA DAY

WESTERN NEW YORK
County Officials Respond To Residents’ Landfill Noise Concerns

Niagara County Board of Health opposes CWM expansion

Chautauqua County To Host Two Additional Drug Forums

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Counties in the News, July 25, 2014

STATEWIDE
Cuomo panel to mull tip issue

State fine for pet theft raised to $1,000

HUDSON VALLEY
Electricity rate relief for Hudson Valley?

NORTH COUNTRY
Firefighters question Saranac Lake switching to county 911 dispatch

MOHAWK VALLEY
Approved! After decade-long wait, Marcy nano site gets its permits

SOUTHERN TIER
Delaware County supervisors eye savings on Medicaid costs

CENTRAL NEW YORK
New York State Fair concerts would move to Onondaga Lake amphitheater, report says

FINGER LAKES
Governor signs county rifle bill into law

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Counties in the News, Thursday July 24, 2014

LONG ISLAND
Nassau comptroller begins inquiry into part-time workers’ hours and pay

Bellone presses Suffolk lawmakers for budget solutions

HUDSON VALLEY
Orange County casino committee takes closer look at proposals

Rockland County sells nursing home to private company

CAPITAL
Albany County pushing tough new oil train law

McCoy: Move Ezra Prentice residents away from oil trains

NORTH COUNTRY
Clinton County Legislature approves airport bids

Hopes harnessed to casino sites

MOHAWK VALLEY
HCCC budget approved by county Legislature

APPROVED! After decade-long wait, Marcy nano site gets its permits

CENTRAL NEW YORK
ArtsWeek, Oswego Harborfest, Turbo Bocce: 11 things to do this weekend in Syracuse

FINGER LAKES
Orleans Nursing Home sale could fund projects

WESTERN NEW YORK
Erie County: Still No Vote for Proposed Animal Abuse Registry

Upcoming County Jail Health Insurance Webinar

Is your County Correctional facility leaving money on the table? Your facility could significantly reduce its overall correctional health care costs by implementing a variety of cost-containment strategies. On July 24, POMCO will be hosting the free webinar “Correctional Health Care Cost Containment Strategies.”

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Counties in the News, July 23, 2014

THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1945-A B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building killing 14 people

STATEWIDE
Empire State Development announces expansion of Praxair, retention of more than 1,100 jobs

LONG ISLAND
Workshop Highlights Tax Breaks

HUDSON VALLEY
State questions Ulster estimate

CAPITAL
McCoy to call for criminal, civil penalties if oil spills aren’t reported

NORTH COUNTRY
Airport offers come in low

MOHAWK VALLEY
Legislature to consider college resolutions

CENTRAL NEW YORK
One month after Unity Council speaks, opposing faction of Cayuga Nation shares its side of dispute with Legislature

CSX rail expansion leads to extra costs and long detours

FINGER LAKES
Hazy, hot and humid, a perfect day to hit the beach

WESTERN NEW YORK
Nearly 3,000 tons of patch has been applied to Erie County roads since June 1

Allegany eyesore to see new development

Legislator takes aim at Town of Niagara IDA

Upcoming County Jail Health Insurance Webinar

Is your County Correctional facility leaving money on the table? Your facility could significantly reduce its overall correctional health care costs by implementing a variety of cost-containment strategies. On July 24, POMCO will be hosting the free webinar “Correctional Health Care Cost Containment Strategies.”

To register, go to www.pomcogroup.com and click on the registration link.

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Counties in the News, July 22, 2014

HUDSON VALLEY
Casino bidders seek local property tax breaks

Hudson Valley sees growth in sales-tax revenue, while upstate lags

CAPITAL
GE leads in deal leading to more upstate jobs

Saratoga County Fair returns for 173rd year

NORTH COUNTRY
Governors tie in river rafting race

Governor Cuomo announces success of second summer Adirondack Challenge

SOUTHERN TIER
Broome County Legislature Seeks Community Input

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Seneca County supervisors to mull next step for canal trail

FINGER LAKES
Ontario County purchasing handheld ID scanners

Genesee Community College Trustees

WESTERN NEW YORK
Orleans County Fair opens for 6-day stand

Upcoming County Jail Health Insurance Webinar
Is your County Correctional facility leaving money on the table? Your facility could significantly reduce its overall correctional health care costs by implementing a variety of cost-containment strategies. On July 24, POMCO will be hosting the free webinar “Correctional Health Care Cost Containment Strategies.”

To register, go to www.pomcogroup.com and click on the registration link.

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Counties in the News, July 21, 2014

STATEWIDE
Renewables changing of the guard

NYSAC provides a renewable program with our energy partner MEGA

LONG ISLAND
KidPix Child ID Program

NEW YORK CITY
Wealthier New Yorkers Aren’t Fleeing the City for Tax Havens, a Study Says

HUDSON VALLEY
Orange Bureau Confidential: Neuhaus to spell out county layoff plans

Tappan Zee Bridge: Thruway chair hints tolls may double

Westchester loses 2014 community development grants; total lost tops $25 million

Redrawn Sullivan County district lines approved, but there’s a backlash

CAPITAL
EMS task force grapples with response time

NORTH COUNTRY
Cuomo: “North Country is coming back big time”

Economists cite public fear, winter blues for lag in sales tax returns in Jefferson, Lewis counties

County Mulls Adding Charge to Your Cell Phone Bill

FINGER LAKES
GCC offering food processing technology degree

WESTERN NEW YORK
Cattaraugus County to employ aerial spraying against mosquitoes in selected areas

Off the Grid Experience campground opens in Portland

Looking for more tax breaks

Upcoming County Jail Health Insurance Webinar

Is your County Correctional facility leaving money on the table? Your facility could significantly reduce its overall correctional health care costs by implementing a variety of cost-containment strategies. On July 24, POMCO will be hosting the free webinar “Correctional Health Care Cost Containment Strategies.”

To register, go to www.pomcogroup.com and click on the registration link.

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Counties in the News, July 18, 2014

LONG ISLAND
UPDATE: LIRR Strike Averted as MTA, Unions Make Deal

HUDSON VALLEY
Ulster county executive, corrections union reach labor agreement

Neuhaus proposes 50 layoffs, early retirements

Sullivan OKs $442K for jail design changes

Dutchess County group interested in using St. Cabrini Home in Esopus to house border orphans

SOUTHERN TIER
Vacant Deputy County Executive position will not be filled (Video)

Two Members of the Broome County Legislature Resign

CENTRAL NEW YORK
Tompkins County Achieves National Recognition as Top Digital County

Onondaga County to spray Cicero swamp after finding evidence of EEE virus

Legislators want more information before approving more money for Air 1

FINGER LAKES
Ontario County supervisors adopt FLCC budget

WESTERN NEW YORK
County to seek bids for new fuel depot at Allegany barn

ECIDA restarts venture capital fund

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