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Public Defenders

Overworked PD Accused of Challenging Prosecutor to Fight

Posted Oct 22, 2010 9:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A public defender in California who lost about a third of his lawyers due to budget cuts this July is accused of challenging a prosecutor to fight for refusing a delay in a drug case.

San Joaquin County Public Defender Peter Fox is under criminal investigation for allegedly making the comment during an expletive-laced tirade, the Stockton Record reports.

Deputy DA Ronald Goodreau told the publication that Fox stormed into the courtroom, made an "angry expression," called him a dirty word, and threatened to beat him up.

The story says Fox is known as a level-headed, scholarly type. Local lawyer John Schick told the Record that the stress of the layoffs may have contributed to the alleged dust-up. "This is totally out of character,” Schick said.

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