Public Defender assigns legal case to Gov. Nixon

11 months 2 weeks 1 day ago August 04, 2016 Aug 4, 2016 Thursday, August 04 2016 Thursday, August 04, 2016 1:11:00 PM CDT in News
By: Khaki Martin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Public Defender's office assigned a legal case to Gov. Jay Nixon in an open letter on August 2.

In the letter, Michael Barrett, the director of Missouri's public defender system, calls out Nixon for vetoing Senate Bill No. 37, which Barrett said would have "provided caseload relief to an overburdened system." He added Nixon has "repeatedly cut funding for an indigent defense system that continues to rank 49th in the U.S. with a budget that the consumer price index indicates has less value now than it did in 2009." 

In protest of declining funding for the public defender system, Barrett wrote, "Given the extraordinary circumstances that compel me to entertain any and all avenues for relief, it strikes me that I should begin with the one attorney in the state who not only created this problem, but is in a unique position to address it." 

Barrett cited, an obscure legal provision in the Missouri State Constitution, Section 600.042.5, which gives the Director of the Public Defender System the authority to "[d]elegate the legal representation of any person to any member of the state bar of Missouri." 

Nixon earned a law degree from the University of Missouri, and worked in private practice in his hometown before being elected to the Missouri Senate in 1986. 

Gary Toohey, director of communications for the Missouri Bar, confirmed that Gov. Nixon is a legal member of the bar and in good standing.

Scott Holste, communications director for Governor Nixon, responded to KOMU 8 by email on Nixon's behalf on Thursday.

Holste said, "Gov. Nixon has always supported indigent criminal defendants having legal representation. That is why under his administration the state public defender has seen a 15 percent increase in funding at the same time that other state agencies have had to tighten their belts and full-time state employment has been reduced by 5,100. That being said, it is well established that the public defender does not have the legal authority to appoint private counsel."

Holste cited Section 600.064 of Missouri law, which states only the circuit court can appoint a private attorney to represent a criminal defendant.

He added, "Section 600.064, the statute referenced by the public defender, authorizes the public defender to 'delegate' representation with private counsel, which requires the consent of the private attorney." 

KOMU 8 is continuing to reach out to the Public Defender's office for comment. 

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants Callaway County prosecutor to file criminal charges against Central Missouri... More >>
22 minutes ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 5:25:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he'll stop funding cuts for foster-care families that he approved earlier... More >>
48 minutes ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:58:41 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Chicago man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in... More >>
1 hour ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:21:13 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Law enforcement officials are suing more than a dozen businesses in southwest Missouri suspected of being involved... More >>
1 hour ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:51:43 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City Police Department confirmed Thursday that two teenagers were found dead in the Moreau River... More >>
1 hour ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Flags will be at half-staff Friday on all state government buildings in St. Louis to honor... More >>
2 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:43:14 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A community based organization that provides tutoring services, dance classes, and other skills to children in Columbia is... More >>
3 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Welcome Home had the grand opening of its new facility Thursday morning. It offers 32 rooms with 34... More >>
4 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's order that Missouri taxpayers pay more than $156,000... More >>
4 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:42:54 PM CDT in News
ROLLA - A drug deal turned violent Wednesday night, leaving a woman hospitalized with a gunshot wound to her head.... More >>
6 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:08:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Police are investigating a home invasion and armed robbery at the Campus View apartment complex Wednesday night.... More >>
7 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:07:00 AM CDT in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Authorities say three people have been wounded in a shooting at a St. Joseph apartment complex.... More >>
8 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:18:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 27-year-old St. Louis jail inmate is hospitalized in critical condition after being found beaten in... More >>
8 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:06:00 AM CDT in News
SULLIVAN, Mo. (AP) — Thousands of ticks have been collected for testing from a Missouri park after a worker died... More >>
9 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:42:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - If you live in southwest Columbia, the city has a suggested watering schedule that might affect you. ... More >>
9 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:35:00 AM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Authorities are asking for help in locating a missing man who is considered endangered. James Hanberry... More >>
9 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:34:00 AM CDT in News
NORTHMOOR, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors have filed charges against a man accused of driving off in a suburban Kansas City... More >>
10 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:18:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man is being questioned in the death of a woman in southwest Missouri.... More >>
10 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:14:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 98°
6pm 97°
7pm 95°
8pm 92°
9pm 88°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Hollywood Game Night
8:00p
The Wall
9:00p
The Night Shift
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Hooten & the Lady
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld