CFR: Pender's new public defenders, EPA lawsuit, and unmasking the Proud Boys
Welcome back to the Cape Fear Rundown! Rachel dropped a piece earlier this week about a new public defenders’ office opening up in Pender county, and she’s going to talk to us about it. Then, we talk to Ben about the Proud Boys. And finally, Grace joins us to talk about a lawsuit against the EPA that involves PFAS.
Thanks for listening this week.
Here’s Grace’s story: Lawsuit against EPA over PFAS testing continues, court opinion to come
Here's Ben's story: DA says masking for anonymity at public meetings is illegal, but NHCSO won't unmask the Proud Boys
Here’s Rachel’s latest story: Pender County is getting a new public defender office, but the profession remains challenging
Some thoughts from Rachel’s sources:
Ben David, District Attorney for Pender and New Hanover counties — “When there is a public defender, who has many assistant public defenders, where their full-time job is to, on salary by the state, represent indigent people, that changes the dynamic of how people get represented. Because think about it: if people are paid by the hour, if attorneys are paid by the hour to represent an individual, then there's a built-in incentive not to efficiently resolve that case, right? I mean, it's not casting aspersions, that's just human nature that if you're going to be paid by the hour, then time is not of the essence in the sense that you are getting paid every hour that you're working on that case. Whereas if you are salaried, and it's your full-time job, there's all sorts of efficiencies that are built in.”
Brian Moore, public defender on the court-appointed list — “Certainly, if you have a case where you're appointed to some misdemeanor, and then somebody wants to hire you for a very serious offense, and is going to pay you a lot of money to do so. In that moment, it's probably tempting to prioritize that one over the other in that moment. But generally, no, I try to pay no attention when I'm in court, as to whether someone has paid me to be there or not. All the cases are the state of North Carolina versus my client. And I'm on my client's side, and I don't care who's paying me what — once I'm in, I’m in.”