There are only two counties in Illinois that do not have full time public defenders in the court system. Bond County is one of them, but that is about to change.
Tuesday morning, the Bond County Board approved the creation of the public defender position.
The action was taken upon the recommendation of Bond County Circuit Judge Christopher Bauer.
Bauer explained with the passage of the recent Pre-Trial Fairness Act, there are going to need to be practically daily bail hearings, which require the representation of counsel. He said with more frequent hearings, he believed the county would have to take this action to create the office. Bauer would like it to begin on December 1 to make sure the program is up and running by January 1. The salary for the position would be 90% of the state’s attorney salary. Two thirds of the salary would be reimbursed from the revenue side of the budget. The package would include salary and the same benefits of other office heads. The judge estimated the cost of the position would be $150,000 a year with a reimbursement of $100,000.
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The judge advised he has talked to an attorney, who has taken appointments in Bond County for several years, and he is interested in the new position.
Judge Bauer said he plans to recommend that person to the circuit judges for appointment.