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Interim Supervising Attorney Appointed for Assigned Counsel Program

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Interim Supervising Attorney Appointed for Assigned Counsel Program

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Legislature, without dissent (Legislator Kathy Luz Herrera was excused), confirmed County Administrator Joe Mareane’s appointment of James Baker as Interim Supervising Attorney for the Tompkins County Assigned Counsel program.  Mr. Baker’s appointment comes on the recommendation and request of the Advisory Board on Indigent Representation, to temporarily fill the vacancy left by the death of Supervising Attorney Wesley McDermott last month. 

Administrator Mareane noted that Mr. Baker, a graduate of Cornell Law School, has practiced law in Tompkins County for 33 years, with a focus on criminal defense work, and is highly regarded within the legal community.  James Baker will serve on an interim basis until a permanent appointment can be made.  Administrator Mareane said the search for a permanent Supervising Attorney is underway, with applications being accepted through September 30.  It is hope that a permanent appointment can be made within the next two to three months.  Legislator Martha Robertson noted that Mr. Baker cannot apply for the permanent position since does not reside in Tompkins County, and thanked him for stepping forward to serve in the interim position.