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Jun 17, 2010 9:11 AM by Sharlee Barriere

Study Rips Defender Office; Defender: It's Wrong

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) -A new study
finds little or no coordinated management in the public defender's
office serving Lafayette, Vermilion and Acadia parishes.
The report, to be released
Thursday, also says the man in charge, David Balfour, has no
official contract and was allowed to hire himself and decide his
own salary as administrator and defender.
And it says nearly half of its contracted attorneys carry
indigent caseloads considered excessive by national standards.
The Louisiana Public Defender Board hired the National Legal Aid
& Defender Association to evaluate the office after the ACLU
complained of heavy attorney caseloads and sparse use of
investigators.
Balfour calls the report inaccurate, an insult and a hatchet
job.

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