Public defender finds hiring support in supes

Public Defender Jeff Adachi fought budget cuts to his office harder than most anyone else this budget season — and he’s still at it, claiming that his office has been unable to rehire a number of positions that have recently become vacant.

Adachi on Tuesday asked the Board of Supervisors to approve a request to fill as many as 13 vacant positions in order to meet his assigned caseload. Adachi said he had specifically requested that Mayor Gavin Newsom allow him to fill seven vacant positions to replace staff that had left or retired from the office.

The wily public defender said that in the past six months, Newsom had approved more than 200 hires for the District Attorney’s Office and Police, Sheriff and Probation departments and the court, but none for his office.

Some supervisors were apparently listening. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced a resolution Tuesday, along with Supervisor David Campos, that “hopefully corrects” the disparity between the funding of the Public Defender’s Office and other parts of the criminal justice system.

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