Davis retains 12 public defenders

Dec 21 2011 - 6:52am

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Redd
Redd

FARMINGTON -- A Layton attorney who challenged Davis County in 2nd District Court by representing a Kaysville citizens' group, is one of 12 public defenders the county will contract with for the first six months of 2012.

Don Redd, who has been practicing law for 35 years, will receive a salary of $53,327 for six months of work.

On Tuesday, Redd was among 12 attorneys with whom the Davis County Commission approved six-month agreements to provide public defender work for those accused who cannot afford legal counsel.

In addition to Redd, the commission approved contracts with William J. Albright, C. Markley Arrington, Ryan Bushell, Michael S. Edwards, Ronald Fujino, Richard M. Gallegos, Julie George, Matthew Nebeker, Todd Sessions, Dan Shumway and Scott Wiggins.

The six-month contracts ranged from a high of $53,327 for Redd and Albright, to a low of $25,504.50 for Wiggins.

The salary amount is based on the defender's workload and experience, Davis County Personnel Director Mel Miles said. Wiggin's salary is a little less because he is handling only the cases that are appealed, Miles said.

In September, Redd surprised county leaders when he did pro bono work representing a Kaysville citizens' group that filed suit against the city and the Davis County Clerk's Office. The group claimed the city and county thwarted its efforts to place three petition initiatives on the Nov. 8 city ballot by disqualifying some of the signatures because of errors.

The group ultimately dismissed its suit against the county and city after court proceedings revealed the group had not collected the number of valid signatures needed to put the petitions on the ballot.

Some termed Redd's involvement in the case, when he had an existing public defender contract with the county, as a conflict of interest.

Redd said the county asked him if there was a conflict of interest in his representing the citizens' group, and he told them absolutely not because he is an independent contractor and contests the county on a regular basis in defending clients it is trying to prosecute.

In hindsight, Redd said, he should have made the county aware before he took the case.

"I moved too fast. I should have foreseen the consternation," he said.

But apparently those differences are water under the bridge.

"I think we're fine," Redd told the Standard-Examiner on Tuesday.

Redd stated in an earlier interview that he did not think it would be an issue, and said he was confident he would be treated fairly by the commission when it considered renewing his public defender contract.

Redd said he believes he has good rapport with those who made the decision to renew his contract.

Since the Kaysville case, Redd said, county officials extended him an offer to apply for a full-time legal position that was being made available. Redd said he declined so he would be able to keep his freedom in trying other cases.

Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said that when county leaders learned Redd was representing a group suing the county, they looked into whether there was a conflict of

interest.

Redd is a contract employee, not a county employee, Downs said, and on information and counsel the commission received, Redd's 2011 contract as a public defender remained in place.

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