Trumbull County will contract with state to provide attorneys for indigent defendants

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Six additional employees will be hired

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull County Commissioners have decided to contract with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office to provide legal representation for defendants who can’t afford it.

Beginning July 1, the Ohio Public Defender’s Office will represent indigent defendants in the county’s municipal, juvenile, and common pleas courts.

For the past two years, the office has only provided services for clients at the municipal level.

Officials say this move will benefit both the clients and the county financially.

“It is going to save us money. It is only $82,000 compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars the other way,” said Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko.

Elizabeth Miller, assistant director for the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, said as cases move from court to court, services will be the same.

“It will be a benefit because if something gets bound over from municipal court, there’s continuity of services and representation. We will be able to provide more continuity for dockets in common pleas because we will have assigned attorneys to each judge’s courtroom,” Miller said.

The Ohio Public Defender’s Office will be hiring six additional positions for the expanded service at the Trumbull County office. Those positions include five attorneys and an administrative jail support person.

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