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Churchill Commissioners hire new public defender

Christine Kuklica
ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com

The Churchill County Commissioners on Thursday selected Charles Woodman as the county’s newest public defender.

County Manager Eleanor Lockwood said commissioners requested a potential candidate for the June 5 meeting after public defender Paul Drakulich’s contract was terminated and requests were made for qualified applicants. The county has two other public defenders.

“We received four submittals and all of these submittals had good qualities being brought forward,” Lockwood said. “There were specific criteria that we looked at … myself, Deputy District Attorney Ben Shawcroft and Comptroller Alan Kalt individually reviewed and ranked each individual.”

Lockwood said the examnined criteria were reputation and qualification of the specific individuals including ability and history of successfully completing contracts, meeting deadlines, experience and also responsiveness and completeness of the written proposal.

Lockwood said the candidates must comply with the terms of the contract which include opening an office in Fallon, the absence of any criminal actions against the attorney and a plan for making themselves available to clients. She said qualifications, experience of the attorneys in criminal law, criminal defense, jury trial and reputations for stability and professionalism were thoroughly reviewed.

“Two of the applicants have much greater experience in criminal defense and jury trials than the other two applicants,” Lockwood said. “Follow up teleconferences were held with these applicants and references were contacted. Following that Alan Kalt, Ben Shawcroft and myself firmly believe that Charles Woodman has significantly more experience in criminal defense and jury trial than all other applicants submitted.”

Lockwood said Woodman’s associate, Peter Smith, is an added bonus since the casework could be shared between the two of them. She said Woodman is fluent in Spanish, has established an excellent working relationship with the district attorney’s office and public defender Jacob Sommer and can start July 1.

Other items approved and discussed by the commissioners include the following:

Discussed on going and upcoming activities for the Bureau of Land Management.

Approved renewal proposal from the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool and invoice for payment from FY 2014-2015 funds.

Approved professional services contract with Mahannah and Associates, LLC for the period of July 1 through June 30, 2016.

Approved pay tables for FY 2015-2015 as submitted.

Discussed upcoming projects at the county library.

Approved the funding support for the “Pioneer Corner Time Capsule project” at the museum and authorize the transfer of up to $20,000 to the Museum Association Members for support of the project.

Approved payment of the fourth quarterly installment to Churchill Animal Protection Society in the sum of $5,000 for FY 2013-2014.

Approved recordation of conservation easement document #440445 for property located at 2424 and 2434 Testolin Roar, Assessor’s parcel numbers 006-671-48 and 006-671-49 to authorize the issuance of 26 TDR certificates to Churchill County, and to record the notice of final decision to issue said certificates.

Approved Sonya Johnson parcel map, TCID #14-004, Section 19, Township 18 North, Range 29 East, 5755 Weaver Road, subject to compliance with the water right dedication ordinance and compliance with the county ode.