Governor Nixon Won’t Have to Serve As A Public Defender
A Cole County Circuit Court judge has ruled Missouri’s governor doesn’t have to serve as a public defender. Judge Patricia Joyce says only courts can appoint public defenders. Missouri State Public Defender Director Michael Barrett had made the appointment this month as a protest against the governor’s decision to withhold most of a funding increase for his office. Nixon says legislation was passed three years ago to ease the pressure on Barrett’s office. He calls the appointment earlier this month a publicity stunt that wastes resources and distracts from the job.