Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Clark County Hires Indigent Defense Coordinator

Clark County (that's the county that includes Vancouver, WA) has hired Wenatchee attorney David DeLong for the new position of indigent defense coordinator. Attorney Selected to Run Indigent Defense, Columbian, Sept. 1, 2006.

Clark County's press release is here. The Wenatchee paper has a brief profile of DeLong: Wenatchee Attorney Takes Job in Clark County, Sept. 5, 2006.

The juxtaposition of "criminal defense" and "Wenatchee" led me to look up the PI's series on the abusive prosecutions and weak defenses in the sex abuse cases there in 1994 and 1995: The Power to Harm: A Record of Abuses in Wenatchee, Seattle P-I, Feb. 23-27, 1998.

DeLong is mentioned in this passage:

Limited in what he can spend, [Chief Public Defender Jeff] Barker had to scour the region for attorneys to take on the crush of cases. Local law firms that contract with him to handle spillover cases rejected the sex-abuse trials, saying they were too complex and costly for $90 an hour.

One lawyer willing to take a case was David DeLong, an experienced attorney who gave Miller a strong -- if unsuccessful -- defense. But many defenders were green as grass.
So Mr. DeLong has seen the dangers of a bad public defense system, has done his best on his own cases, and now will move on to Clark County to try to administer a system well. Good luck to him.

Thanks: Public Defender Stuff.

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