BAY CITY — Bay County officials are now contracting out for a public defender position. The county sought bids to have contractors provide legal services for misdemeanor cases so that staff attorneys can focus more on felonies, according to Bay County corporate counsel Marty Fitzhugh. The county employs two departments of public defenders and contracted out additional work to in-county attorneys.

The bidding was started as a way to restructure and save money after an employee left the county. The county will pay $1,300 per month for the service.

The county sought bids to offer defense services to those accused of a criminal misdemeanors who cannot afford an attorney. It received nine bids in response, but only seven met bid point thresholds, according to The Bay City Times.

Reference: The Bay City Times, "Officials looking at public defender bids in attempt to find savings," Sept. 11, 2007