Local

July 27, 2014

Supervisors consider public defender appointment, new incentive program

The Merced County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider the appointment of a new public defender and establishing an incentive program for businesses to make capital improvements.

The Merced County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider the appointment of a new public defender and establishing an incentive program for businesses to make capital improvements.

David Elgin, a Merced County supervising deputy district attorney, earned the public defender recommendation from Merced County Executive Officer Jim Brown after an extensive recruitment process.

Elgin, who’s spent 14 years in the District Attorney’s Office, also has experience as a private criminal defense attorney. Elgin said he’s “very pleased” with the recommendation and looks forward to providing leadership and direction to the Public Defender’s Office.

Brown said he was looking for a public defender who had “integrity, respect and a strong leadership ability” to move the department forward. Discussions are being held with the other county agencies to ensure Elgin’s transition does not impact pending cases within the justice system.

The public defender position pays $137,966 to $167,980 a year, according to Merced County’s website.

The board will also consider re-employing Judy Harney, a retired office supervisor in the Public Defender’s Office, to provide support during Elgin’s transition.

In other business, the supervisors will consider adopting a resolution that establishes a capital investment incentive program for businesses. The resolution is spurred by state Assembly Bill 2389, which offers property tax rebates to qualified businesses that want to make facility improvements.

Participating in the program would benefit Merced County by providing opportunities to attract large manufacturing facilities to the area, according to county documents.

If adopted, the resolution will require that future capital improvement incentive projects be brought before the Board of Supervisors for consideration on a case-by-case basis, the documents said.

The supervisors will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday in its chamber on the third floor of the Merced County Administration Building, 2222 M St.

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