Sunday, July 31, 2005

Indigent Defense Commission head gets blamed for missed deadlines by public defenders?

AG candidate Bob McDonnell was interviewed for this story in the Leesburg paper about the resignation of the executive director of the Indigent Defense Commission, Richard Goemann.

The article concludes:

"Goemann, who was making $132,211 a year and is a former public defender, commanded the 25 public defender offices and more than 1,000 court-appointed attorneys, and controlled the commission's $31 million budget. Some of the criticism aimed at him by commission members was that he did not spend enough money on the attorneys of the system--the overwhelmed public defenders, some who handle twice as many cases as the average, private attorney. The large workload led to public defenders botching appeals on default because they couldn't meet filing deadlines. The Leesburg public defender's office mishandled at least eight appeals cases in a two-year period. These failures prompted the General Assembly to pass a law that last year that protected a defendant's appeal rights if his indigent defense attorney missed a filing deadline."

It seems like the newspaper is stretching the point a bit to suggest a connection between missed appeal deadlines and the fiscal management by Mr. Goemann.

No comments: