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The Smell Test 

Editor:

I have been retired now for 15 years. My hearing isn't what it used to be and I have to wear glasses when I drive. However, my nose still works and something smells about the current situation with the Public Defender's Office ("Nothing in Writing," July 27).

When all nine deputy public defenders send a letter to the supervisors alleging that the new hire is incompetent and unqualified, that certainly creates an olfactory effect.

During a 45-year teaching career, I saw my share of politics when it came to hiring instructors. In more than a few cases, a person was hired not on the basis of what that person knew but rather on the basis of whom that person knew.

Considering the fact that the new public defender's resume was not exactly sparkling, I wonder what would happen if someone were to investigate that particular thread.

Bill Morris, Eureka

Editor:

In preparing for his lawsuit against the county arguing that Humboldt County Public Defender David Marcus is unqualified under California statute, Patrik Griego deposed Mr. Marcus on July 3. During the approximately 80 minutes of the deposition, Mr. Griego posed a series of questions to Mr. Marcus, who responded under oath. Many of Mr. Griego's questions concerned Mr. Marcus' legal work prior to being hired by Humboldt County in February of 2017. Many of Mr. Marcus answers indicated memory lapses, and below is a tally of some of his responses:

"I don't recall the specific matter:" 1

"I don't recall for sure:" 1

"Not that I recall:" 9

"I'm not sure:" 6

"Not that I know of:" 3

"I'm not sure I didn't, but I'm not sure that I did:" 1

"I'm not positive on that particular matter:" 1

"I don't recall:" 1

"I'm not certain:" 1

"Not that I recall specifically:" 1

"Not that I'm certain about:" 1

"Not that I'm aware of:" 1

"No specific recollection:" 3

"Not for sure:" 2

"I can't remember for sure:" 1

Was Mr. Marcus dodging the questions or does he just have poor memory skills? Either way, it's not good.

Marilyn Andrews, Arcata

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