BEATRICE – The number of cases handled by the Gage County Public Defender’s Office last year, remained level with 2017.
Public Defender Lee Timan, in an annual report to the Gage County Board, said 343 cases were handled the past year, compared with 348 the year before.
The office is capped at 40, regarding felony cases it can handle at one time. Timan says much of 2018 was spent at, or near that cap.
:29 “ongoing thing”
There is no cap on the number of misdemeanor or less serious matters that the office can handle, at any time.
Timan’s office has a contract with the county. Court-appointed defense lawyers, when appointed in place of the public defender, are paid at a rate of $90 per hour.
In 2018, the public defender’s office handled 44 probation violation cases…up significantly from the 20 handled the year before.
:29 “instead of probation”
In 2018, the Gage County Public Defender handled 60 felony cases, compared to 71 in 2017. Misdemeanors rose from 149 in 2017, to 160 the past year. Juvenile cases dropped from 96 in 2017, to 71 last year.
The total number of cases has remained relatively flat, since 2015.