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Public Advocate Job Description

The KY Public Advocacy Commission seeks applicants for the position of public advocate for the KY Department of Public Advocacy to begin September 16, 2017. The Public Advocate is the Chief Administrator of the Department of Public Advocacy, an independent Executive Branch agency within the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The Public Advocate, whose office is located in Frankfort, Kentucky, leads the statewide public defender system, creates a vision for the agency, inspires its mission and forward direction, administers a $50+ million annual budget, sets policy for the agency and its employees, and oversees 545 employees in 36 offices across the Commonwealth. The agency has a trial, post-trial, and administrative division. The Public Advocate also provides oversight to the Protection and Advocacy Division, which is an independent division within the Department. The Public Advocacy Commission, a 12-person governing board, supervises the Public Advocate. Written submissions must be received by 4:30 p.m. eastern on July 28, 2017.  Send to Public Advocate Search Committee, c/o Jessie Luscher, Department of Public Advocacy, 5 Mill Creek Park, Frankfort, KY 40601. Facsimiles are not accepted. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Electronic submittals will be accepted by sending to jessie.luscher@ky.gov A job description, duties, competencies, qualifications and further application requirements follow: 

Job Description

PUBLIC ADVOCATE FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY


POSITION: The Public Advocate is the Chief Administrator of the Department of Public Advocacy, an independent Executive Branch agency within the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The Public Advocate, whose office is located in Frankfort, Kentucky, leads the statewide public defender system, creates a vision for the agency, inspires its mission and forward direction, administers a $50+ million annual budget, sets policy for the agency and its employees, and oversees 545 employees in 36 offices across the Commonwealth. The agency has a trial, post-trial, and administrative division. The Public Advocate also provides oversight to the Protection and Advocacy Division, which is an independent Division within the Department. The Public Advocate is supervised by the Public Advocacy Commission, a 12-person governing board. The Public Advocate collaborates with other criminal justice partners and stakeholders in leading the effort to ensure the fair administration of justice for all of Kentucky’s citizens. That collaboration includes the Kentucky Court of Justice and the Kentucky Bar Association, as well as the executive and legislative branches.  It also involves working with important, influential national organizations such as the National Association for Public Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the NLADA American Council of Chief Defenders and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. Among other duties and responsibilities, the Public Advocate develops and presents funding requests, manages and implements the budget, reviews proposed criminal justice legislation and presents testimony on its impact and viability, develops policies, procedures and a strategic plan. The position has direct oversight responsibility for Executive Staff. 

DUTIES OF THE STATE PUBLIC ADVOCATE: 
  • Makes recommendations to the Commission and to the legislature about the best means and manner in which to establish and maintain the delivery of professional, cost-effective legal services to persons entitled to and financially eligible for appointed counsel in criminal proceedings at state expense under Kentucky law and the Constitutions;
  • Oversees budget preparation and manages budget allocation; 
  • Develops and implements a strategic plan for the delivery of public defender services;
  • Defines organizational culture, sets standards for intra-agency practices, facilitates communication;
  • Implements and ensures compliance with contracts, policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines adopted by the Commission or required by statute and regulations;
  • Appears before the Legislature and various committees on the budget to report on the activities and needs of the Department, provides testimony regarding various pieces of criminal justice legislation; 
  • Seeks alternative funding streams via grant process or donations to support the system. 
  • Participates in the process to revise and improve criminal and civil rules of the Kentucky Supreme Court; 
  • Develops policies, standards, guidelines, and procedures for the statewide delivery of public defender services in accordance with KRS Chapter 31; 
  • Serves on the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council, Kentucky Criminal Justice Council, the Kentucky Corrections Commission, and other committees and organizations, as necessary. 
QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be an attorney licensed to practice law in Kentucky with at least five years’ experience in the practice of law KRS 31.020(2), preferably criminal defense experience including defender leadership experience; KY Bar Reciprocity Information is located at: http://kyoba.org/Views/public/Content.aspx?page_id=24

REQUIRED COMPETENCIES:
  • Demonstrated leadership within a large, diverse organization staffed with professionals.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills to review facts, evidence, and precedents and present them in oral and written reports.
  • Effective skills in coaching Executive Staff.  
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with others. 
  • Ability to comprehend and draw inferences from written material. 
  • Excellent leadership and effective communication skills with a wide variety of audiences including the media. 
Beginning date: September 16, 2017

SALARY: The compensation of the public advocate is set by the provisions of KRS 64.640, KRS 31.020(2).

APPLICATIONS: Submit a resume, a list of three professional references, and a cover letter, which addresses the following items: 
1. Describe your experience as a criminal defense attorney. 
2. Describe your leadership experience. 
3. Describe your supervision experience.
4. Describe your program administration experience.
5. Describe the most complex problem you faced and successfully resolved.
6. Describe your involvement in national defender programs.
7. List the professional organizations in which you hold membership. 
8. What leadership education have you attended? 
9. What would be your strategy to address KY defender workload problems?
10. How would you ensure the independence of DPA?
11. What is and should be the Public Advocate’s role in addressing the crisis in Kentucky’s corrections system and its ever-increasing incarceration rate at the county and state levels?
12. What would be your priorities as public advocate?
Written submissions must be received by 4:30 p.m. eastern on July 28, 2017.  
Send to Public Advocate Search Committee, c/o Jessie Luscher, Department of Public Advocacy, 5 Mill Creek Park, Frankfort, KY 40601. Facsimiles are not accepted. Electronic submittals will be accepted by sending to jessie.luscher@ky.gov
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity Employer