KANSAS CITY - Western Missouri's top federal public defender says he is resigning early to prevent layoffs in his office.
Ray Conrad says he will retire June 1 from the Federal Public Defender Office in Kansas City because of automatic federal budget cuts that have reduced his office's resources.
The Kansas City Star reports the 73-year-old Conrad has led the federal public defender's office since 1980. He had intended to serve until the end of his four-year term in 2016.
Conrad says his retirement is not a protest. He says he couldn't bring himself to lay off colleagues because of an expected $270,000 budget shortfall in the next fiscal year.
Conrad said he could cover the shortfall with his salary and that of a senior investigator who is also retiring.