January 06, 2009

FL: "gimme that meat ax!"

Damage assessment from the Pensacola News Journal:

Public defender cleans house

Layoffs began this morning at the Public Defender’s Office in Pensacola. Thirteen employees, including two attorneys, were laid off by noon...

Assistant Public Defender John Nugent was set to pick a jury... on Monday morning, but the trial was delayed because he was unsure whether he’d have a job today. His instinct was right. “It’s a good thing I asked for a continuance or my poor boy would be sitting up there right now with a jury and no attorney,” Nugent said.

“All you were doing was trying to protect your clients,”
(fired p.d. investigator Clint) Merritt said. “And I got the ax,” Nugent said...

Update from the News Journal:

Public defender hires 12, fires 14 employees

Public Defender James Owens fired at least 14 of his 125 employees and hired 12 attorneys on Tuesday, the day he was sworn into office...