Box Butte Co. Considering Full-Time Co. Attorney, Public Defender

Box Butte Co. Considering Full-Time Co. Attorney, Public Defender
Box Butte Co. Courthouse (Courtesy photo)
December 22nd, 2021 | Scott Miller

Box Butte County officials are looking at going back to a full-time County Attorney and Public Defender, a subject that came up as part of the discussion on elected officials salaries for the four years starting in 2023.

County Board Chair Susan Lore says she supports the idea personally, and remembers from her time as county assessor decades ago how busy the county’s legal representatives can be, especially the county attorney.

“All of the officials depend on that county attorney to make, like almost snap decisions unless it’s something you have to do research,” said Lore. “So he’s not only trying to do criminal or civil cases, he’s also trying to be the attorney for the officials. You combine all that stuff, and I really truly think it should be a full time job.”

Lore says the subject was broached in part this week by comments about the need for a full-time county attorney by both Box Butte Co. Sheriff and Chief Phil Lukens of the Alliance Police Department.

She says with all the duties of that office, including having to serve as the county coroner and be available to answer law enforcement questions, the county attorney’s post really is a job that’s 24/7.

Lore said a decision on that issue, and salaries for elected officials, is expected during the first Board meeting of 2022.

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