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Kootenai County public defender reinstated

Kootenai County public defender John Adams won’t be fired after all, commissioners decided Tuesday.

Saying two of the three commisioners had been unaware of Adams’ cancer diagnosis during the previous vote, they reversed a resolution terminating their contract with Adams effective Sept. 30.

Commissioners have not yet decided how to handle public defender services in the future, according to a news release. The decision to reinstate Adams was made by the board “as a whole,” the release said.

Commissioner Todd Tondee was the only one to whom Adams had revealed his health condition, the release said.

The termination came three weeks after Adams filed a harassment complaint against Commissioner Jai Nelson. Nelson was not present at the Tuesday meeting, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

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