Chief Public Defender

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Job location
200 W. Front Street
BOISE, ID 83702
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Ada County
Street address: 
200 W. Front Street
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Chief Public Defender is responsible for planning, implementing, coordinating, directing, and evaluating activities and programs of the Public Defender’s Office. The Chief Public Defender also serves as the special staff advisor to the Board of Ada County Commissioners on matters relating to public legal defense and representation.

Other responsibilities of the Chief Public Defender include: providing guidance to staff regarding technical and legal problems; directing, preparing, and presenting the Office’s proposed annual budget and monitoring approved budget expenditures; overall supervision of employees including evaluating work performance, counseling employees on the programs, policies and procedures, and resolving complaints and taking disciplinary action when needed.

The other primary responsibility of this position is providing legal representation and defense of indigent persons accused of crimes in Ada County, including juveniles. This includes interviewing defendants and witnesses, analyzing strengths and weakness of cases and determines best defense strategy to pursue, and presenting cases in court.

The Chief Public Defender may also appeal criminal defense cases to State appeals courts, present Post-Conviction Relief actions to the Court, and prepares affidavits, opinions, and memorandums of Habeas Corpus.

Located in beautiful Boise, Idaho, the mission of the Ada County Public Defender’s Office is to effectively represent indigent persons in serious criminal, mental health, juvenile, and abuse/neglect cases within Ada County.

The Public Defender’s Office has a staff of 69 employees, and supports the largest county in the State of Idaho. The department is comprised of the Chief Public Defender, Chief Deputy Public Defender (1), Deputy Public Defenders (44), Investigators (8), Legal Assistant Staff (10), and Administrative Staff (5).

The Court-ordered services provided by the Public Defender are extended to people who cannot afford to hire an attorney.

The Public Defender’s Office is responsible for arguing preliminary motions in court, conducting criminal investigations, interviewing witnesses and clients, preparing cases for trial, negotiating plea agreements, trying cases in front of juries and judges, and arguing post-trial motions. The Public Defender’s Office will occasionally represent defendants in appeals and post-conviction petitions.

• Hiring Wage: $139,000/year, eligible for up to 5% increase in 6 months
• Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance
• 12 days annual vacation leave – increases with length of service
• 12 days annual of sick leave
• 10 paid holidays
• Retirement pension through the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI)
• Deferred Compensation 457(b) Plan with 3% employer match
• Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
• Basic life, accidental death and dismemberment, and short-term disability insurance to employees at no cost
• Post-Employment Health Plan (Health Reimbursement Arrangement)
• Employee Assistance Program
• Voluntary Supplemental Insurance Programs
• Paid Idaho State Bar licensing fee
• Paid Membership to American Council of Chief Defenders
• Paid Membership to National Association for Public Defense
• Paid Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Membership

Ada County, located in Southwestern Idaho, offers a unique mix of urban and rural communities with industries ranging from high-tech to ranching and farming. Ada County is nestled where the high desert meets the western edge of the Rocky Mountains and is the gateway to exceptional recreational opportunities. These opportunities include world famous white-water rafting, Nordic and Alpine skiing, snowboarding, hunting, fishing, backpacking, camping, and boating.

Cities in Ada County are Boise, Garden City, Meridian, Eagle, Star, and Kuna. Most of these cities are linked by the beautiful Boise River, which offers residents unbeatable recreation access through the Boise River Greenbelt system. In addition, the Boise foothills provide over 130 miles of trails used for mountain biking, running, and hiking.

Ada County has become a hub for great locally-produced food and entertainment. Home to the famous blue turf of the Boise State Broncos, we also host minor league baseball, ice hockey, and basketball teams.
If golf is your game, Ada County features more than 15 public and several private golf courses. If you’re an art aficionado or just like an occasional movie, Ada County has dozens of options including galleries, museums, performing arts, live concerts, and cinemas, to name a few.

Our local food scene is diverse and delicious, offering unique menus using ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches. Southwest Idaho has also become home to several award-winning vineyards and wineries due to the rich volcanic soil and mild four-season climate.

Ada County is a great place to work, live and raise a family. Whether it’s the vibrant cultural and recreational opportunities, the friendly people or the mild climate, Boise and the surrounding communities afford a quality of life second to none. Good jobs, affordable housing and safe, clean and vibrant cities all add up to a great place to live.

For more information on the Boise area please visit:


The ideal candidate must have graduated from an accredited law school and be a member in good standing of the Idaho State Bar and have substantial experience as an Attorney.

Thorough knowledge of common law, state and federal laws and court decisions affecting criminal law will be a vital asset in this candidate. In addition, the candidate would possess thorough knowledge of community and other resources available to find location of individuals, and possible sources of information on property and/or persons involved in specific crimes.

Furthermore, thorough knowledge of crime elements, procedures of search and seizure, chain of custody, methods of legal research, and rights of the individual involved in criminal legal proceedings is required of the candidate.

Developing trust, confidence, and cooperation of persons is a very important part of this position. Additionally, the ability to interpret criminal laws, Public Defender’s Office and court policy, and the ability to acquire thorough knowledge of case law and apply that knowledge would be beneficial to the applying candidate.

To apply: 

Qualified candidates may submit a resume and complete the online application by visiting our website at:

This job posting will close on June 15, 2016. For assistance with the application process, please contact Angie Fisher at (208) 287-7126 or [email protected].

Additional information regarding Ada County and the Public Defender’s Office can be found online at:

You can also learn more about Ada County by watching our video on YouTube at:

Ada County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Salary range: 
$139,000/year, eligible for up to 5% increase in 6 months
Submission deadline: 
Friday, May 13, 2016