NORRISTOWN, PA – In 2020, Montgomery County contracted with Temple University to identify issues and provide recommendations with regard to the best governance structure for its Office of the Public Defender. One of the primary recommendations of the report is to create an Advisory Board that ‘should play the central role in appointing the Chief Public Defender.’
In line with this recommendation, a nominating committee has been formed to begin the process to establish an independent Office of the Public Defender Advisory Board. The nominating committee is comprised of:
- Keir Bradford-Grey, Partner at Montgomery McCracken
- Anna M. Durbin, Criminal Defense Attorney
- Deah Gerard-May, NAACP Ambler Branch President
- Dr. Vernon Ross, Jr., Director of Inclusion & Diversity at SAIC
- Honorable Joseph P. Walsh, Walsh Panico LLP
Donna Richemond, Montgomery County’s Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Alana Hook, Chief of Policy and Social Services with the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender; and Yvonne Montgomery, Senior Assistant Solicitor are serving as non-voting members of the nominating committee.
The Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender Advisory Board will be made up of a variety of community representatives from diverse backgrounds including:
- A licensed Attorney who currently practices in Montgomery County
- A current or former client of the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender
- Non-Profit CEO, Executive Director, or Senior Leader working in area of: mental health, substance use, housing, domestic violence, or veterans affairs
- Community affinity group representative associated with an organization advocating for causes related to social justice and/or criminal justice reform
Members of the public are encouraged to apply or submit nominations for the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender Advisory Board online using this online form. Paper forms are also available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submission is Friday, July 1, 2022 at 5 p.m.
The Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender Advisory Board will consist of nine members. Those individuals nominated by the independent committee will be appointed by the Montgomery County Commissioners to serve on this board for a term of three years.
The Office of the Public Defender Advisory Board membership is expected to be finalized by end of summer and subsequently begin the process to appoint Montgomery County’s Chief Public Defender.
Media Contact: Kelly Cofrancisco, email@example.com