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Is this any way to run a City?
I'm a whistle blower. I had been defending indigent clients in Auburn Municipal Court since January 2000, and had been the lead public defender in Auburn since January 2006. There is another piece in the story of the closing of the Auburn Municipal Court that has not been made public.
In 2012 I exercised my right to free speech by speaking out in a City Council meeting against both the City's plan and the ramrod style they were using to dissolve the court. Shortly thereafter, I was summoned to City Hall and reprimanded for my comments. I was told not to talk about the court takeover.
Not long afterward, my firm's public defense contract was put out to bid and was awarded to the only other firm to bid for it with an additional $10,000 of your money added as a "transition fee" sweetener. The pretext was that the other firm would implement "vertical representation," a practice of assigning each defendant his own lawyer who would exclusively represent him at all hearings throughout the life of his court case. This has not happened and the City is not holding the new public defender firm accountable by insisting that it live up to its promise regarding this style of representation.
The point is that it was me yesterday, but it could be you tomorrow. Is this any way to run a City?
As mayor, John Partridge will bring back openness and transparency to Auburn City government and will not silence those whose views differ from his own.
– Matt Rusnak