After decades of seeing its citizens accused of crimes being represented by private law firms (paid with public funds), Canyon County has hired its first chief public defender.
This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Canyon County officials ultimately want to create a public defender staff that will include 21 attorneys. And their first hire is Tera Harden, an Idaho native, who has served as a defense attorney in Riverside County, Calif., and was a deputy prosecuting attorney for two additional years.
The Press-Tribune reports that Harden will officially begin her duties in July and should have ample time to start crafting her new in-house public defense department before it's expected to launch this October.
The Press-Tribune reports that Harden's salary will be $97,360.
The State of the City in Caldwell is.... Wait a minute.... Where's the Mayor?
Everyone was in their place Jan. 28 for Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas' annual State of the City address Tuesday afternoon at the College of Idaho, but the mayor wasn't there.
This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Nancolas missed the State of the City because of an unexpected medical procedure.
"Trust me, I'd rather be there in person," Nancolas said via a prerecorded video that he taped that morning.
Instead, the State of the City was delivered by Caldwell City Council members Mike Pollard, Dennis Callsen, Rob Hopper, Terrence Biggers and Shannon Ozuna. But the Press-Tribune reports that Council President Jim Blacker was notably absent.
Council members pointed to economic development highlights and Caldwell's dropping crime rate—6,929 offenses per 100,000 people were reported in 2013, versus 8,586 per 100,000 in 2008.