Muskegon County, Michigan, has decided to create a new county public defender office. According to the Muskegon Legal Times:
The newly created Muskegon County Department will be similar to the prosecutor’s department, and will somewhat mirror that office’s set-up. The public defender will be one of the department heads under Hammersley. The new department will consist of a staff of 16 — the County Public Defender (1), Assistant Public Defender III (2), Assistant Public Defender II (2), Assistant Public Defender I (8), Court Services Clerk (2), and Paralegal (1).
The move is apparently an attempt to get ahead of expected statewide reforms; the state has been studying its indigent defense systems for some time now, largely in response to an ongoing ACLU lawsuit charging the state has failed to provide adequate indigent defense services.