Glenn Boyer Blocked Again from State Commission

9 Oct

I would argue that, as Governor, Jay Nixon has not done much for us in his home county (to which he will not be returning when he leaves office). One thing he seems determined to do, though, is get outgoing Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer onto a state commission. However, he is now 0 for 2 in that effort.

After going outside of the legal framework to appoint Boyer to the state veteran’s commission, but being blocked by local senator Paul Wieland (as explained here), Nixon appointed Boyer to the Public Defender Commission (PDC). However, the director of the state’s public defenders, Michael Barrett, then said that due to the obvious conflict of interest, his office could no longer represent any defendants in Jefferson County courts. This is obviously untenable, so Boyer resigned. He admitted this was part of the reason, but also cited medical issues (unlike Rock Ambulance chief Margie Sammons, who said her recent retirement had NOTHING to do with all the controversy surrounding her).

(I should note here that members of the vets commission and the PDC do not receive a salary).

Bad Fit

It seems to me that putting a current/former sheriff on the PDC makes no sense. Boyer’s career has been all about busting perps and not letting things like civil liberties get in the way of that effort. But now he’s supposed to turn around and stick up for indigent defendants who have a constitutional right to effective representation in court? Recall that Nixon had a big dustup with Barrett in August over funding for public defenders. Barrett used a state statute to appoint Nixon as attorney in a criminal case, but Nixon was able to fight off the summons. After this, Nixon appointed three new members to the PDC. Is he trying to stack the board to get Barrett fired? Boyer would have been a good hatchet man to enact political revenge, while at the same time claiming he is above politics.

Looking at the current makeup of the commission, it includes two former prosecutors and a career law enforcement official. One man who was appointed alongside Boyer is a former sheriff of St. Charles County, and the man replacing Boyer was a police detective. An outgoing member of the board has been active in public defender issue, and one of the new appointees has some experience in criminal defense. There is also one member who has apparently had nothing to do with criminal justice. So it seems experience with legal defense is pretty limited on the PDC

I’m not seeing anything online that questions the heavy police/prosecutor makeup of the PDC, but it seems like something that legal reform advocates would question. It is clear that there is a crisis in the public defenders office of insufficient funding and overworked attorneys. Maybe a PDC less inclined towards the prosecution would work harder to address this long-running problem.

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One Response to “Glenn Boyer Blocked Again from State Commission”

  1. George Thompson October 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Methinks that jaybird nixon not returning to Jefferson County is the best thing he’s ever done for his home county.

    George Thompson

    On Sun, Oct 9, 2016 at 3:14 PM, Jefferson County Penknife wrote:

    > JC Penknife posted: “I would argue that, as Governor, Jay Nixon has not > done much for us in his home county (to which he will not be returning when > he leaves office). One thing he seems determined to do, though, is get > outgoing Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer onto a stat” >

    Like

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