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'Not OK'

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Editor:

Thank you North Coast Journal for continuing to cover the fiasco in the Public Defender's office ("Let's Talk About Rex," April 13). It's not OK for the supervisors to simply say they stand behind their decision to hire Mr. Marcus. When all of the attorneys (who have been practicing law in California for the last year) sign a letter of no confidence, that's huge. Not a few disgruntled attorneys who may have hoped to get the job but all the attorneys in the office! And then the staff, after working with Marcus for a few months, write their own letter of no confidence. This should certainly be enough reason to reconsider Mr. Marcus' worthiness. Humboldt is too small for this kind of political arrogance.

 We pay the supervisors to make important decisions for us and they have an obligation to inform the public about their process. Who else applied for the job and how do their qualifications compare? We all know the process was flawed from the beginning. How is it that no one from the PD office or even a defense attorney was on the panel that interviewed candidates for the job? I keep wondering why Humboldt County doesn't already have protocols in place for this incredibly important hire.

And now it turns out that this decision violates California law. Certainly staff for the supes could verify that. I understand that the supervisors have a difficult job, often being called on to make decisions on things they know very little about but that's when it would be appropriate to consult experts in those fields to be sure they're making the best possible decisions for all of us.

Our system provides for competent representation for people accused of crimes. Certainly we can all agree that's an important concept in a democracy — one worth protecting.

Eileen McGee, Eureka

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