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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "The Knox County Council is trying to get a handle on pauper attorney fees"

The Nov. 11th story from WVUT, Vincennes University, continues:

This year alone the Council has received requests for an additional 250 thousand dollars above what was originally budgeted in the pauper defense budget.

Bob Slayton with the County’s Pauper Defense Board says over the years the system had drifted into what he described as benign neglect.

Meaning there was plenty of money to cover the costs and there was no need to change the status quo until the past two years.

According to Slayton it appears some of the claims being submitted are excessive and need to be reigned in.

Slayton says they are going to be working with local attorneys to create greater oversight and create fee structures and contracts.

And from a WZDM 92.1 Vincennes report:
The Knox County Council is reviewing excessive spending by the county’s Public Defender Board. The board was budgeted $800,000 for spending in 2015. They were awarded $150,000 in October, and another $100,000 last night, to balance their budget for the rest of the year.

Public Defender Board representative Bob Slayton came before Council Tuesday. He called the increased rate of spending unsustainable, and is seeking a revamp in procedural billing. County Council president Bob Lechner says the increased spending is due in part to an increased case load with two new County judges and a new prosecutor on the job. Lechner believes much of the problem will work itself out within the next year, as the number of cases filed begins to level off.

Even with the expected lighter caseload, an added layer of oversight in the Public Defender billing process will likely be in place by the first of the year.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 12, 2015 08:53 AM
Posted to Indiana Government