Posts tagged: kootenai county
Kootenai County public defender John Adams won’t be fired after all, county commissioners decided this week, saying two of the three commissioners had been unaware of Adams’ recent cancer diagnosis during their previous vote. The decision to reinstate Adams was made by the board “as a whole,” the county announced; you can read more here at spokesman.com.
The Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has sent a three-page “open letter” to Kootenai County commissioners, decrying the firing of longtime Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams. “Individuals familiar with both Mr. Adams and his office have noted that the decision to end his tenure as the Kootenai County Public Defender is ‘disastrous,’ ‘shameful,’ and ‘catastrophic,’” the letter says. “We too must add our voices to those who recognize that it is the people of Kootenai County that will lose if your decision stands.”
The association, which has more than 300 members statewide, applauded Kootenai County for launching a “comprehensive evaluation of the public defender program,” but said dismissing Adams “appears to presuppose the outcome of any comprehensive evaluation would be a recommendation for new management of the office, or to disband the office and move to an assigned counsel system.” To the contrary, the group said, a report issued three years ago by the National Legal Aid and Defender’s Association ranked the Kootenai public defender’s office, under Adams’ leadership, the best in the state. “Notably, one of the problems that was actually identified with the office was the Commission’s political influence over the defense function,” the group wrote. “Choosing this time to terminate an experienced, well respected, effective and seasoned public defender seems imprudent at best.” You can read the full letter here.
The Idaho Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Allied Bail Bonds after the firm lost a lawsuit against Kootenai County, charging that the county sheriff was infringing on its business by steering jail inmates toward credit card bonds rather than its bail bonds. The company offered constitutional and other arguments, but the high court rejected all of them, many on procedural grounds.
“In effect, Allied asserts that by accepting credit card bond payments, the sheriff has introduced a new form of competition to Allied’s licensed bail bond business,” Justice Joel Horton wrote in the court's unanimous decision. “Allied asks this Court to ignore Idaho precedent which characterizes a license as a mere privilege and elevate its bail bond license to a protected property interest. We are unwilling to do so.” The court awarded attorney fees to the county, ruling that Allied's appeal was “not reasonably based in either fact or law.” You can read the decision here.