Raleigh, N.C. — The state Office of Indigent Defense Services has appointed a longtime Raleigh attorney to serve as interim public defender in Wake County.
Charles F. Caldwell, who has been an assistant public defender in Wake County for seven years, will take over after Bryan Collins leaves the chief public defender post next month.
Collins, who is Wake County's first chief public defender, was elected in November to a Superior Court judge seat in District 10E.
He is scheduled to be sworn into office Jan. 7.
Tom Maher, director of the Office of Indigent Defense Services, which oversees all public defense work in the state, said Caldwell will hold the position between Collins' departure and the appointment of a new chief public defender – likely in March.
"I'm honored that I was asked to do it," Caldwell said Tuesday. "I'm honored by the support I'm receiving from the people in the office and the people in the courthouse."
Caldwell has nearly 30 years of experience practicing law in Wake County, including in the district attorney's office.
He has worked for the Wake County public defender's office since it was created in 2005 to help support the state's busiest court system.