There shall be a Department of Public Defender under the direction of a Public Defender, who shall be appointed by the County Executive subject to confirmation by the County Legislature and serve at his or her pleasure. At the time of his or her appointment, the person appointed as Public Defender shall have been duly admitted to the practice of law in this state for at least five years, and throughout his or her term of office, the Public Defender shall be and remain duly licensed and entitled to practice law in the State of New York. He or she shall be appointed on the basis of his or her legal experience and other qualifications for the responsibilities of his office and devote his or her full working time to the duties of the office. The Public Defender, at all times, shall be a resident of Ulster County.
The Public Defender shall:
Provide legal representation, without charge, as directed by a court of appropriate jurisdiction, to persons whom the court has determined are financially unable to retain private counsel and who are charged with a crime, or who are entitled to assigned counsel pursuant to the Family Court Act or other statutory provision;
Except as otherwise provided in the Charter, have all the powers and perform all the duties conferred or imposed by law upon his or her office; and
Perform such other and related duties required by the County Executive or County Legislature.
Reports. On or before March 1 of each year, the Public Defender shall make an annual report to the County Legislature and County Executive for the immediately preceding calendar year, covering generally the work of the department, including all cases handled by his or her office during the preceding year. The Public Defender shall make such other reports at such times as may be required by the County Legislature, County Executive or any applicable law. Copies of all reports shall be filed with the Clerk of the County Legislature and the County Executive.
Editor's Note: See Charter § C-77.
The Public Defender shall have the power to appoint such Deputy and Assistant Public Defenders, investigators and employees of his or her department as shall be authorized by the County Legislature. At the times of their appointments, and throughout their terms of office, all Deputy and Assistant Public Defenders shall be and remain duly licensed and entitled to practice law in the State of New York. All Deputy and Assistant Public Defenders, investigators and employees of the department shall be directly responsible to, and serve at the pleasure of, the Public Defender, except as otherwise provided by the Charter, Administrative Code or applicable law.
Editor's Note: See Charter § C-78.
The Public Defender, subject to approval by the County Executive, shall designate in writing, and in order of succession, the Deputy and Assistant Public Defenders who shall be Acting Public Defender in the event of his or her absence from the County or inability to perform and exercise the powers and duties of his or her office. Such designations shall be filed with the County Clerk and the Clerk of the County Legislature and may be revoked at any time by the Public Defender filing an approved new written designation and order of succession. The Acting Public Defender shall have all the powers and perform all the duties of the Public Defender.
Editor's Note: See Charter § C-79.
The Public Defender shall have the power to retain special counsel where necessary and within appropriations made therefor.
Editor's Note: See Charter § C-80.