Appellate public defender seeks to close wage disparity

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's appellate public defenders make nearly $16,000 less than the state's Attorney General's deputies, who often represent the other side while arguing the same case in court.

State Appellate Public Defender Sara Thomas asked legislative budget writers Tuesday for an additional $91,900 in fiscal year 2016 to raise salaries for her appellate public defenders.

Thomas says the amount still falls short compared to how much private attorneys charge. However, the income boost would close the disparity gap between her office and the lowest-paid counterpart in the Attorney General's office.

State appellate public defenders currently make an average of roughly $56,000 a year. The average Attorney General deputy in the appellate unit makes more than $71,000.

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