Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce issued an order Thursday blocking the state’s public defender director from appointing Gov. Jay Nixon to a case, noting that only courts can appoint defenders.
Missouri State Public Defender Director Michael Barrett sent a letter to Nixon earlier this month appointing him to a Cole County case. Barrett said in the letter that the move was an effort to carry out the state’s obligation “to ensure that poor people who face incarceration are afforded competent counsel in their defense” following cuts to the public defender program.
Nixon issued a statement Thursday saying that the public defender’s office’s funding has increased since he’s been in office and that the agency should focus on improving efficiency.
Read more: St. Louis Business Journal