Plaquemines Public Defenders To Shut Office After State Cuts

BELLE CHASSE, LA (AP) — The Plaquemines Parish Public Defenders Office is shutting down indefinitely due to state budget cuts.
 The Times-Picayune’s Julia O’Donoghue reports that the office is expecting to close Wednesday after state lawmakers voted Monday to cut funding for the state Public Defender Board by $472,000 through June 30.

         The Plaquemines office had $1,500 in its bank account at the beginning of the week. After the budget cut, the state board does not have enough money to help the Plaquemines office stay open.

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         Plaquemines Parish Chief Public Defender Michael Robnett has said people charged with crimes may end up being released if trials cannot proceed due to lack of legal representation.

         Lawmakers have trimmed $60 million from state agencies, a first step to rebalance Louisiana's budget under Gov. John Bel Edwards.

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