N. Idaho public defenders end contracts, cite low pay

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LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Two public defenders are citing low pay in ending their contracts with Nez Perce County.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2bga0nA) that Rob Kwate and Paige Nolta have told the county they will stop work as public defenders when their contracts end next month.

Kwate Law Offices has had one of the county's public defender contracts for 21 years.

County commissioners didn't increase the defender budget last year but did raise contracts by 3 percent for the coming fiscal year.

That adds up to $184,800 for each of the county's four public defender contracts.

Nolta says she doesn't think she can provide adequate representation for what the county is willing to pay.

Nez Perce County Clerk-Auditor Patty O. Weeks says she's confident the two vacant contracts will be filled.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

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