San Luis Obispo County public defender’s office runs out of money
April 22, 2010
The San Luis Obispo County public defender’s budget is about $500,000 in the red and the Board of Supervisors is being asked to intervene. (Tribune]
According to a staff report, there is only $50 left in the public defender’s $5 million budget. The cost of recent high-profile trials, including hard-money lenders Karen Guth and Josh Yaguda, have been used to explain the budget deficit.
Supervisors will address the issue next Tuesday and decide whether to authorize $512,000 from their contingency funds.
Guth and Yaguda turned to county public defenders after their assets were frozen. Attorney fees in that case were about $300,000, a bill that the county is obligated to pay. The North County mother and son recently pled guilty to 25 felony counts.
The public defender’s office also saw an increase in expenses, including more money for expert witnesses and investigators. This follows a decision last year to trim the defender’s budget by $470,000.
Approving the transfer on Tuesday requires a four-fifths vote of the supervisors.