Sunday, March 24, 2013

Press: North Idaho Public Defender Fired After Asking For Cancer Leave

Posted By on Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 9:18 AM

A North Idaho public defender—called one of Idaho's best by his colleagues—has been fired two weeks after telling his bosses that he needed a day off each week for cancer treatment.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reported that Kootenai County Commissioners voted unanimously March 19 to fire John Adams after his current term expires this fall.

"It seems like pretty shabby treatment for someone who put in 17 years," Adams told the Press. "I get this one-line memo [from the commissioners] saying my services are no longer required."

Among Adams many public defense clients was infamous child-killer Joseph Duncan, convicted of the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 9-year-old Idaho boy.

Acording to the Press, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association published a 2010 study saying Kootenai County had one of the best public defense offices in Idaho.

But Kootenai County Commissioners are standing by their decision to let Adams go.

"People don't own these offices," Commissioner Jai Nelson told the Press. "These terms aren't meant to be inefinite."

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