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The latest on the search for a new Monroe County Public Defender

 Wooden gavel
Wooden gavel

Monroe County needs a new public defender, with longtime incumbent Tim Donaher stepping down. The office handles representation for thousands of people every year -- many of whom can't afford an attorney.

Last week the acting public defender, Jill Paperno, announced she was stepping down when it was revealed that a selection committee did not grant her even a second interview. Critics say the committee could be on the verge of making a political patronage appointment, giving the job to someone who has never defended a client in court. Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar has defended the process but declined to be interviewed about it.

We discuss the process with our guests:

  • Bob Bonn, member of the original committee to find a merit-based public defender 50 years ago
  • Natalie Ann Knott, former public defender
  • Zachary King, chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee
  • Jeremy Moule, news editor for CITY Magazine
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.
Emmarae Stein is the production assistant for "Connections with Evan Dawson."