Posts tagged: public defender
Kootenai County commissioners have rescinded a resolution that previously ended Chief Public Defender John Adams' 17-year run in the office come September. During their regular business meeting on Tuesday two of the three-member commission — Todd Tondee and Dan Green — voted to rescind Resolution 2013-26 that passed unanimously last month. Passage of that resolution generated a considerable backlash in the legal community statewide, prompting two legal organizations and even some of Adams' legal adversaries to cry foul. Contacted after Tuesday's meeting, Adams declined comment, saying he had recently learned of the commissioners' decision and needed some time to process it before talking with the media. He plans to make a statement in the future/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Why did the two commissioners vote — sans Commissioner Jai Nelson — to rescind their firing of Public Defender John Adams?
Sounds as though the Kootenai County commissioners have changed their minds re: firing respected Public Defender John Adams. A news release sent to Huckleberries moments ago reads in part:
Concerning the current public defender, John Adams, it has been brought to the attention of the Board as a whole that Mr. Adams is undergoing serious health issues. Mr. Adams told Commissioner Tondee certain facts concerning his health but specifically requested that Commissioner Tondee not reveal that conversation to Commissioners Green or Nelson. Since learning of these facts, the Board as a whole has decided that it is in the best interests of all concerned, including the County and Mr. Adams, that the previously passed Resolution be superseded to eliminate the reference to expiration of the term of the public defender.
Question: The news release backs into the key subject — the retention of Public Defender John Adams. I think I'm reading between the lines correctly — that the commissioners have reversed themselves on firing Adams. Thoughts?
Public Defender John Adams says he has been handed his walking papers from Kootenai County's Board of Commissioners. There ought to be a law against that, many in our community argue. Kootenai County Commissioners Dan Green, Todd Tondee and Jai Nelson should take a deep breath and find a way to work out whatever difficulties exist and retain Adams, rather than push him out by Sept. 30. Why? Because Adams is among the very best at what he does, with an outstanding track record spanning almost two decades working for the county. His dedication is partly reflected by the fact that he could make far more money in private practice. This isn't exactly a glamour job, either. When it's your solemn duty to ensure the rights of people like Joseph Duncan are protected, folks aren't patting you on the back as you walk down the street or lining up at the bar to buy you a beer/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you think Jai Nelson and the other Kootenai County commissioners are adult enough to admit they made a mistake?
Kootenai County commissioners voted to end a contract with longtime public defender John Adams three weeks after he made a harassment claim against a commissioner and two weeks after telling the board he’ll need a day off each week for cancer treatment. Adams has run the public defender office for 17 years and earned broad respect from the region’s legal community. During his tenure, he was the lead attorney on 26 murder cases and seven death-penalty cases, including the state trial of child killer Joseph Duncan. Adams, 59, said he was stunned by the decision, but the reaction of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho was even more forceful. The organization complained his firing comes at a time when Idaho’s overall system of public defense has been deemed deficient, lacking resources and in some counties falls short of its constitutional obligations/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Do you think the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners botched the firing of long-time Public Defender John Adams?
Kootenai County Commissioners last week voted to terminate the Public Defender contract with John Adams, the county’s longstanding public defender who has served as the public defender for the last 17 years. The news reached the ACLU of Idaho over the weekend. In a letter sent to Kootenai County Commissioners today the ACLU expressed dismay with the decision by the county to terminate the contract with Mr. John Adams, who is one of the best public defenders in the entire state. “We are not surprised that the press described the legal community’s reaction condemning your decision as “swift and loud” said the joint letter of the ACLU of Idaho and the ACLU’s National Office in New York City. “Coming, as it does, almost exactly 50 years after the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, guaranteeing all Americans’ right to be defended against their government, your effective termination of one of Idaho’s best public defenders will serve as an especially ominous illustration of the grave failures of this state’s unconstitutional indigent defense system”/spokesman Leo Morales in Idaho ACLU press release. More here. (2006 SR file photo: Public Defender John Adams speaks to then Prosecutor Bill Douglas during the murder trial of Joseph Duncan)