Local News

January 3, 2014

Essex County sets temporary public defender head

ELIZABETHTOWN — The new year will see some temporary changes to both the District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices in Essex County.

The County Board of Supervisors recently named Deputy Public Defender William Tansey as acting chief public defender until Oct. 1 and increased his annual salary to $94,778.

Tansey will fill in for Chief Public Defender Brandon Boutelle, who has been called to active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps.

The county is looking to hire a full-time assistant public defender, at $52,000 a year, to take Tansey’s slot until Boutelle returns.

County Manager Daniel Palmer said they haven’t found anyone for the temporary position yet.

Boutelle is not paid by the county while on military leave, so no additional cost to the county is expected. He leaves early this month for a U.S. Navy submarine base.

Boutelle holds the rank of commander in the Navy Reserve JAG Corps.

In addition, Public Defender’s Investigator Dennis Johnson will work an additional seven hours a week to compensate for an increased workload in the Public Defender’s Office.

In the District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney Michael Langey will get a one-time payment of $3,500 added to his salary from a County Department of Social Services Child Welfare Fraud Task Force grant.

The money is part of a $7,000 grant, Langey told the Board of Supervisors, and the rest will stay in the grant’s fund balance for later use.

“There’s criteria” that had to be met, Langey said. “I had to submit time sheets for the grant.”

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the changes.

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