New Mexico commission appoints interim chief public defender

SANTA FE (AP) – A Santa Fe public defender will be the interim chief of the state Law Offices of the Public Defender.

The New Mexico Public Defender Commission has appointed attorney Bennett Baur to replace Jorge Alvarado as the commission continues its search for a permanent replacement.

Alvarado resigned last month, saying he faced resistance and unreasonable expectations.

He had pushed for more funding for 13 public defender offices that he oversaw across the state, saying more money was necessary to serve 70,000 defendants.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Baur will oversee the state’s public defender’s officer for a year, and is seeking to fill the position permanently.

Baur is a former president of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.

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