Peoria County Board to consider public defender contract

May 27, 2014

Local criminal defense attorney Joel Brown is set to become Peoria County’s next public defender in July. The County Board still needs to approve the $1.4 million contract during its regularly-scheduled meeting next month. Brown says he plans to work with the existing 29 assistant public defenders in maintaining the service:

“When you're dealt aces at the table, how you play them makes it a lot easier. And I really feel like for the most part we have some very skilled and highly dedicated professionals that have been in their positions for many years,” Brown says.

Brown says he also plans to update the public safety committee monthly on office operations. Brown replaces Thomas Penn, who held the position for three decades. The contract was re-bid amid questions regarding the Penn’s handling of office finances.