Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Public Defender Reportedly Got $25K in Severance Pay

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 11:32 AM

click to enlarge David Marcus - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • David Marcus
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors reportedly agreed to give embattled former Public Defender David Marcus two-months severance pay when he resigned his position, according to Marcus’ letter of resignation.

That would equate to about $25,000 given Marcus’ $150,000 annual salary.

It’s unclear when the board reached this agreement or how it was finalized. With 24-hours notice, the county scheduled a special closed session board meeting for 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, with two items on the agenda: discussion of the lawsuit challenging Marcus’ hiring and the review of an unnamed county employee. The board met in closed session for about an hour and 45 minutes before adjourning, reporting no final action out of closed session.

Marcus reportedly sent his resignation letter at 9:15 p.m. that day, but packed up the personal belongings in his office, loaded them in his truck and left without addressing employees at about 2:30 p.m. Some employees of the public defender’s office had been reportedly asked by county counsel’s office to be on-call to address the board during the closed session meeting earlier on Nov. 22 but were told prior to the meeting that it wouldn’t be necessary.

The board is set to consider the appointment of an interim public defender at its Dec. 5 meeting, with staff recommending the appointment of Kaleb Cockrum, who was a candidate for the post at the time of Marcus’ hire and is currently working as the supervising attorney in the conflict counsel office, an off-shoot of the public defender’s office.

Check back for updates and find Marcus' full resignation letter, as provided by the county, copied below:


Amy Nilsen

CAO Humboldt County

Dear Amy:

I appreciate the opportunity to have served as Humboldt County Public Defender. I have concluded that it makes sense for me to resign, effective immediately. I will assist to facilitate the transition. I appreciate the Board’s agreement to provide me two months’ severance.

Best Regards,

David G. Marcus

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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