Dec
20
Hon. Durin B. Rogers to be sworn in

Dec
02
Events
6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
JOB POSTINGS: Legal Position(s) available in Genesee County

Jun
10
Events
6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
JOB POSTINGS: Legal Position available in Genesee County

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UPDATED: Long time Genesee County Public Defender to Retire

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UPDATE:  THERE WILL BE A RETIREMENT PARTY FOR GARY HORTON, ESQ. @ THE CENTER STREET SMOKE HOUSE, 20 CENTER STREET, BATAVIA, NY ON MARCH 20TH FROM 5-8PM.  PLEASE JOIN US TO WISH GARY "HAPPY TRAILS."

Long time Public Defender to Retire for new post helping Veterans.  (Reprinted from Batavia Daily News)


After about 23 years as Genesee County's Public Defender, Gary Horton will retire to take a new job to develop a program on how to train other public defenders how to provide legal services for veterans. Gary Horton says he has always been fortunate to find new, exciting ventures to put a spark in his successful career as a defense attorney. Another one has arisen, one that will see Genesee County’s longest-serving public defender retire on his 65th birthday, March 28. Three days later, Horton, a tireless advocate for veterans, will begin work on his new job, developing a program for public defenders on how to provide legal services to veterans. The program is part of New York State Defender’s Association, a not-for-profit group that provides a variety of services to defense attorneys, both public and private. “It’s an exciting opportunity. This is something we’ve been talking about for a number of years but we’ve never had funding,” Horton, who serves as vice president of the Defender’s Association board. “The director asked me if I’d be interested if the funding was available and I got the call in November.” A private business will fund the program, which will be based in Batavia so Horton does not have to move to Albany. His co-director will be based in Albany, however. The program aims to provide training to public defenders throughout the state on how to properly defend veterans in the criminal justice system. The Defender’s Association will contract with the state to provide those services. “We’re going to be facing huge problems,” Horton said. “We know there is a high rate of PTSD and veterans with traumatic brain injuries and we know we will have them coming into the system. We are already seeing that. They need proper services.” Horton has long been an advocate for veterans and has witnessed first-hand those entering the criminal justice system and the lack of services available. “What we’re going to find is public defenders who don’t even identify clients as veterans,” he said. “We’ll provide mitigation practices for veterans, how to present a veteran for sentencing and using diminished capacity defense.” For Horton, the new job will mean leaving the one he has had since 1990. During that time, Horton has not only represented the county’s indigent but has overseen the development of a drug court and its offshoot, Veterans Service Coordination and Mentoring Program; been a defender of the rights of farm workers; and for many years has represented pro bono “The Forgotten Victims of Attica,” corrections officers who survives and families of those killed during the Attica riot of 1971. Genesee County Legislature will appoint a new public defender. Horton said he is looking forward to continuing his work ensuring that veterans have adequate services. “I’m excited,” he said. “This has always happened to me. When something is getting stale or old, something else comes up. It’s nice to have a new challenge.”