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Oregon Chief Justice Fires Public Defense Services Commission

Aug. 15, 2022, 10:53 PM

The Oregon Supreme Court chief justice dissolved the state’s Public Defense Services Commission, saying Monday that the current membership has failed its mission.

The firing of the nine-member commission follows fights over defense lawyer turnover at the agency that represents indigent defendants. Executive Director Stephen Singer retained his job Aug. 10 after complaints about his performance and conduct and amid concerns about a severe lack of defense attorneys. The commission will be replaced, though the now-fired members can apply to be on the new board. The firing is effective Tuesday.

“Systemic change is necessary to fulfill that mission, and ...