Chautauqua County public defender seeks to relocate his staff - The Buffalo News
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Chautauqua County public defender seeks to relocate his staff

MAYVILLE – Acting Public Defender Nathaniel Barone on Wednesday got committee approval to move part of his staff into the Family Court building.

Barone told the Chautauqua County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee the new offices would be more convenient for attorneys on his staff who work on family cases like custody issues. He said the number of cases has doubled in recent years and even grandparents are sometimes represented by public defender lawyers.

His office keeps the criminal and family divisions separate, he said.

Barone said that the current location in the Gerace Office Building is several blocks away from Family Court. “It will be a convenience for the lawyers, our clients and even the staff of Family Court when they have to deliver documents,” he said. He said the $700 rent each month and about $2,900 in moving costs would be covered by an Indigent Services Grant.

The rent agreement will require approval of the entire Legislature.

Committee members supported a request from Sheriff Joseph Gerace and County Clerk Larry Barmore to deny use of the county’s logos or a picture of the county’s seal on a website for SAFE Act registration. Gerace said that pistol permits will still be issued by the county but that he did not want his office’s images associated with the site.

The sheriff said other sheriff agencies in the state also opposed the use of their images on the SAFE Act site. He said that the website will require pistol permit owners to re-register every five years.

Committee members also heard a report from Gerace on the improvements to the radio dispatch system. He said that a $6 million grant is being used to upgrade the system. Work is expected to be complete by Feb. 2015.

The changes were part of Federal Communications Commission requirements, the sheriff said.

He said the grant funds did not require a local match and are being used to improve the communication countywide to a narrow band frequency.

Gerace received committee approval to accept a $50,000 grant from the state Office of Homeland Security. He said the grant is used towards the salary of the employee who is overseeing the radio system changes.

The committee also accepted a $40,000 grant for the K-9 program, through Homeland Security.

Steven Cobb of Fredonia was reappointed to the Emergency Medical Services Council. He also was named an ex-officio member of the Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board. Other members approved for appointment by the committee were E. Lawrence Barter of Fredonia; Ronald Trippy and Lyle Holland, both of Westfield; Scott Bailey of Celoron; James Bostaph of Cherry Creek; and Peter Samuelson of Bemus Point.

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