Local News

Interim Wake public defender named

Posted December 11, 2012

— 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.


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  • wildpig777 Dec 12, 2012


  • thinkb4youspeak Dec 11, 2012

    @tatermommy- A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. 1st, there is a constitutional right to counsel, so you're wasting time by complaining. Secondly, not sure what courtrooms you've been to, but many people are turned down for public defenders who have no means to actually afford an attorney. Lastly, if the person is placed on probation the "fee" is collected over the course of probation. If they are given an active sentence, it turns into a civil judgment and the state will garnish tax refunds or any other funds they can get their hands on to collect.

  • tatermommy52 Dec 11, 2012

    The public defender program: Defendants fill out an unchecked application and are almost never turned down. If found guilty they are charged a fee that is a civil judgement and is not repaid.