Wyoming County's Public Defender Tuesday made a case to restore funding in 2003 for a caseworker in his office.
Norman Effman, county public defender, said restoration of the $19,000-a-year position will allow the office to take on criminal matters for families who did not meet poverty guidelines for legal representation, but who cannot afford legal representation from a private attorney during lengthy cases.
He said neighboring Genesee County has been able to generate an additional $4,000 to $5,000 in department revenue from expanding such services in its public defender's office.
Effman said the office was able to generate $27,000 to $30,000 in revenues in 2002 because the caseworker was in place. He said only $25,000 was initially expected to be generated in 2002.
Effman argued last month that revenues for the office could decrease drastically if the caseworker position did not remain.
"We need a person to do the secretarial work," Effman said. "We need a person to do the tracking."
Supervisors suggested that the caseworker be responsible for the potential billings tied to the new proposal.