We are in Colorado for a triennial family reunion. There are four lawyers in the family, three from the East Coast, and one from California. Last night, we talked about the public defender controversy in Humboldt County ("Public Defender's Job May Rest on His Words," July 6). One of the East Coast lawyers said that it is not uncommon for people in power to select weak public defenders by intent. One reason is that it saves money. Good public defenders hire investigators and do research as needed, and this adds to the cost of the defense.
In February, our Board of Supervisors hired an incompetent chief public defender, who in the past five months has severely weakened and demoralized the office of the public defender. Perhaps money has been saved. Does Humboldt County want to trade justice for lucre?
Marilyn Andrews, Arcata