Monroe County narrows public defender candidates down to 2

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County has narrowed its search for its next public defender down to two people.

The Community Public Defender Selection has chosen Buffalo criminal defense attorney Robert Fogg and Assistant Public Defender Julie Cianca to move forward in the selection process.

Next, Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar will meet with the rest of Monroe County Legislature leadership to discuss how to meet with an interview Fogg and Cianca.

The candidate that the legislature chooses will serve a two-year term.

LaMar released the following statement Thursday night:

“The Community Public Defender Selection Panel became a priority of mine following recommendations from the Monroe County Bar Association, members of our community, and a review of past practice. The Panel incorporated many stakeholder groups – a family law attorney, a defense attorney, a retired Judge, the President of the Monroe County Bar Association, the past-President of the Monroe County Black Bar Association, a member of the faith community, and a member of the Judicial Process Commission. I look forward to receiving the final full report from the Panel that will detail their criteria, processes, and other pertinent details that will be shared with members of the Legislature and the Community as we move forward in making the final determination. This has been the most open process the Legislature has conducted in decades and I am confident that this Legislature will deliver the best possible Public Defender for our community.”

On Monday, there was controversy over the politics and transparency of the public defender selection process at a public forum held at the Central Church of Christ in Downtown Rochester.