A public defender office is sorely needed in Jennings County, according to Jack Gay and others.
Gay, a North Vernon attorney who contracts with the county as a part-time public defender, pitched the proposal to the Jennings County Council and Board of Commissioners last week. Both governmental bodies are taking the matter into serious consideration.
Using figures from the Indiana Public Defender Commission, Gay estimates it would cost the county around $60,000 a year more to staff a public defender office than it now spends for contracted attorneys.
"We need this for several reasons, including to be in compliance with the state and to get the job done correctly," he said. "The state is eventually going to require all counties to staff a full-time public defender office anyway, so it would be good for Jennings County to get ahead of this."
What's more, Gay contends, the county would save considerable money in the long run.
The North Vernon City Council reversed their decision regarding city utility employee raises on Monday night , heeding the appeals of Superintendent Russell Vaught and Utilities Service Board member Terry Thompson.