Public Defenders Office To See 10 Days Of Staff Furloughs

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Orleans Public Defenders Office will institute 10 days of staff furloughs for all employees between February and June.

         The New Orleans Advocate’s John Simerman reports the shutdowns, which Chief Public Defender Derwyn Bunton announced to the court and city on Monday, come as his office faces a looming $1 million budget shortfall.

         Bunton originally feared his employees would see as many as 30 furlough days, but he says the office received additional funds that helped cut the number of furlough days.

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         The City Council recently passed a $150,000 boost in city money to help alleviate the budget woes. Additionally, the office received $86,000 from a crowdfunding campaign.

         Bunton says his office currently has over 40 lawyers that represent about 85 percent of criminal defendants in the parish.

         For more information

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