PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE
President Jim Stapleton and Chairperson Mary Barnes turned the podium over to Craig Head, Chief Assistant of the Public Defender’s Office of the Waycross Judicial Circuit. About 40% of his cases are in Ware County. There are nine attorneys, one investigator, and administrative staff for the six counties in the circuit handling all felonies and felonies and misdemeanor cases in Brantley County. The office handles about 2500 cases per year. All the attorneys are licensed and deal with criminal cases only with no outside practice of law. The Public Defender’s Office starts at the beginning after the arrest and first appearance in court through the entire process even if the case is appealed. Mr. Head is an attorney specializing in appeals and may have a dozen cases under appeal at any time. The Public Defender’s Office is of great value to the community by offering a lawyer to those defendants without the ability to pay. Since 1963, the courts have recognized the importance of legal representation throughout the proceedings. There have been various ways to accomplished this from state to state usually with court-appointed attorneys. The Georgia system of Public Defender’s offices began with the implementation of the Indigent Defense Act of 2004. In a joint effort of the state and counties, the office provides a competent attorney at a fair cost to the government and the defendant. The system has decreased the instances of conflicts of interest and balanced the consistency of competency. Thanks to these public servants we have the best judicial system in the country and the world!
EXCHANGE ORIENTATION PART ONE
President Jim Stapleton and Chairperson Mary Barnes turned the podium over to Ken Carroll for this week’s program.
Mr. Ken began his Orientation presentation with “the Challenge” from remarks he used when serving as District 10 Director of the Georgia Exchange Club District as part of the New Members Induction Ceremony.“ From this day forward, you will have many challenging opportunities to serve your community through Exchange, so be prepared to freely share with us your own particular talents and resources. As an Exchangite, you are expected to “aid in our continuing expansion and progress by inviting others to be part of Exchange for personal growth and service to the community.”
DEE MEADOWS FIRE CHIEF OF WARE COUNTY
President Jim Stapleton called on Chairperson Michael Ray for this week’s program. Michael introduced Dee Meadows, Fire Chief of Ware County. Chief Meadows has thirty-one total years with 25 years with the City of Waycross and now completing three years as Chief of the County. He was recently appointed by the Governor to serve on the State Public Safety Board over all aspects of law enforcement and public safety as one of two fire chiefs. If nothing else, he has gained an appreciation for their jobs and more than ever supports the work done.
ASHLEY WILLIAMS CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER
President Jim Stapleton called on Chairperson Michael Ray for this week’s program. Michael introduced Ashley Williams denoting her educational accomplishments and experience as a licensed clinical social worker and her position as the Zone Leader for Behavioral Services for the 34 counties and the Georgia Crisis & Access Line 800-715-4225 of Southeast Georgia.