The Saratoga Sun -

In defense of public defense


January 2, 2019


I would like to protest the upcoming changes with the Carbon County Public Defender’s office. The powers that be are proposing getting rid of administrative support staff in Rawlins thus making defendants call Laramie for assistance. As a longtime administrative assistant for a busy real estate agent I can not imagine what a disaster this is going to be. Waiting around for the lawyer to show up when, if there was a paralegal at the office you could get a quick question answered or that piece of paper signed and notarized.

How are the files going to be maintained? Are they going to be in Rawlins or Laramie? Is the Public Defender going to have to haul around the files from Laramie to Rawlins and back? Isn’t this going to put more undue stress on the Public Defender, having to do his job and some of the admin work? Are we back in the wild west days where the judge came to town once a month?

What about the defendants? What about these folks having to take time off of work? What about the added stress for those who are struggling with mental illness or other disabilities? In this plan, will the Public Defender have time scheduled to sit down and talk through some of the more difficult legal situations with those clients or will it be like the DMV-next?

What is the purpose? Save money? The Carbon County DA has several lawyers plus admin at his disposal but the public defender’s office has to beg and plead to get what they need. The public defender has to get approval for necessities like investigators and experts to help in their defense of those unable to hire a high price lawyer. I have heard there will be approximately 500 extra people in Rawlins to work on the windfarm. What is going to happen when they come to town? I know folks are throwing around the word discrimination a lot these days but if the shoe fits. I’m truly surprised the ACLU, NAACP, and other groups aren’t all over this.

Jennifer Blanco

Colorado Springs, Colo. with friends and family in Encampment


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