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Job Opening: APPLICATIONS SOUGHT FOR ARIZONA’S FIRST CAPITAL POST-CONVICTION PUBLIC DEFENDER

Monday, December 11, 2006



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, December 8, 2006

APPLICATIONS SOUGHT FOR ARIZONA'S FIRST CAPITAL POST-CONVICTION PUBLIC DEFENDER

Commission Convenes, Lays out Selection Process

PHOENIX - The Nomination, Retention, and Standards Commission on Indigent Defense (Commission) met Wednesday to begin the selection process for Arizona's first State Capital Post-conviction Public Defender (Public Defender). The Commission was created by law during the most recent legislative session.

The Commission consists of criminal defense attorneys, judges, public defenders, and members of the public who are appointed by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Governor. The members of the Commission are: attorney Dale Baich, attorney Jim Belanger, the Honorable Michael Ryan, the Honorable John Hannah, Director of the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office James Haas, Yuma County Legal Defender Jose de la Vara, attorney Jack Chin, Advisor to the Governor for Victims Dan Levey, and Senior Government Relations Representative of the Salt River Project Meg Wuebbels. Attorney Jim Belanger was elected chair and will lead the Commission as they select Arizona's first Public Defender.

The Public Defender's Office was established by Senate Bill 1376 during the 2006 legislative session and stipulates that the Governor shall appoint the Public Defender on the basis of merit to serve a four-year term. The Commission will submit a list of at least three names, only two-thirds of which can be of the same political party, to the Governor for review. Once the Governor has selected her choice, the Public Defender is subject to Senate confirmation.

The Public Defender will be responsible for directing and overseeing the State Capital Post-conviction Public Defender's Office (Office), which will represent any person sentenced to death who is financially unable to hire a lawyer in post-conviction relief proceedings. The Public Defender is also responsible for managing the operation, activities, policies and procedures of the Office.

A complete job description, statutory reference, and application are available online at http://azgovernor.gov/BC/application_online.asp. Electronic applications must be submitted by Friday, January 5, 2007, 5:00 p.m. MST. Qualified applicants selected for an interview should be available to interview on Tuesday, January 16, 2007. For out of state applicants, a teleconference interview may be arranged.

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