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Maine's lead public defender resigns after one month

Maine's lead public defender for the state's commission on indigent legal services has resigned, roughly one month after taking the position.

Attorney Seth Levy was among five lawyers hired in December as Maine's first public defenders. The commission's executive director, Justin Andrus, says Levy resigned last Friday, but declined to comment on the reason. He says responsibilities will be shared among staff until a new lead defender is hired.

"They remain enthused," says Andrus. "We remain enthused. We think it's terrific we have this opportunity, and it's going very, very well from a client services perspective despite challenges."

Maine has a dearth of attorneys willing and able to represent low-income clients facing criminal charges. Governor Mills' proposed budget includes funding to hire 10 additional public defenders.