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County Executive to Appoint Michael Baker as Public Defender

(BINGHAMTON, NY) Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced today the appointment of Michael Baker as Broome County Public Defender.

The County Executive’s selection was made after a thorough search and interview process by the Broome County Public Defender Merit Selection Committee. Per Broome County Charter and Code, the Public Defender is appointed by the County Executive from a list of candidates provided by the Merit Selection Committee.

County Executive Garnar said, “I’m proud to announce my selection as Michael Baker as Public Defender. The Merit Selection Committee reviewed applications several highly qualified applicants. Mike was the top selection by the committee, his peers. He is a hard worker and dedicated to working for all people of Broome County, especially those in distress.”

The Public Defender appointment must be approved by the Broome County Legislature. The resolution has been submitted to be considered by legislators in December.

Baker has been serving as Acting Public Defender since Jay Wilber retired at the end of the March. He has worked in the Broome County Public Defender’s Office since 2005. Prior to being named Acting Public Defender, Baker was the Chief Assistant Public Defender.

Baker said, “I look forward to continuing to work for the people of Broome County and follow in our office’s history of providing vigorous representation as well as addressing our ongoing social problems including substance abuse addiction and untreated mental health issues.”

A graduate of Hamilton College and Albany Law School, Baker is currently Vice-President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL) and a member of both the New York State Defender’s Association (NYSDA) and National Association of Public Defenders (NAPD).

Baker has taught at Broome Community College and at the EXCEL Program through Binghamton University. He is also a former President of the Broome County Bar Association, previously a member of the Local Rules Committee (criminal) for the United States District Court for the Northern District New York and a lecturer at the Broome County Peace Officer’s Academy.

The Public Defender is appointed for a term of five years.

12/04/2018 - 2:05pm