A controversial new public defender system designed to save Jefferson County $3.5 million a year is not popular with some criminal defense attorneys.
Everett Wess, who currently defends Harvey Updyke, the man accused of poisoning the Toomer's Corners oaks, says indigent clients may not get the best legal representation under the new system. Wess also defended a Birmingham police officer in an excessive force lawsuit.
Wess is on the board that recommended some of the cost cutting.
"What I want to do, as I continue to serve on the board, is make sure that we have quality representation, make sure that we have the best public defender we can find in the position, the best deputy defenders so we can keep the quality at the level it should be," Wess said.
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