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William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
Dutchess County Public Defender David Goodman to Retire
Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced the upcoming retirement of Dutchess County Public Defender David Goodman. Mr. Goodman has served Dutchess County for more than 35 years including nineteen years leading the department as Public Defender
“We are grateful to David Goodman for his dedication and leadership over his many years of service,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “He has always remembered that his job was about the person, not just a case. His efforts to achieve results with positive impacts have touched thousands of lives over his years here. He will be greatly missed.”
David Goodman began his public service career as Deputy Public Defender with the Dutchess County Public Defender’s Office in 1970, working part-time for more than sixteen years. He worked in private practice for several years before returning to county government service when he was appointed as Public Defender in February 1992 by County Executive Steinhaus.
As Public Defender, David Goodman has overseen the quality legal representation to clients who have criminal charges filed against them and who have been determined to be indigent. The Public Defender’s Office also assists indigent individuals who have been contacted regarding a criminal police matter, before they have been formally charged.
Mr. Goodman has overseen the growing responsibility of the Dutchess County Public Defender Office, completing a transition from a staff mix of full-time and part-time lawyers to all full-time lawyers. Today, the Dutchess County Public Defender Office handles approximately 6,500 cases on an annual basis.
A strong proponent for Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI), Mr. Goodman was instrumental in the addition of an ATI Social Worker to the Public Defender’s Office team. This social worker advocates for and assists public defender clients get into rehabilitation programs in lieu of further incarceration. Mr. Goodman has also been an advocate of the Drug Court process, a voluntary process where an individual facing misdemeanor drug charges can plead guilty to the drug charge and receive help for his or her substance abuse issue. Drug treatment is essential to the program, which also can include other steps, such as acquiring job skills, employment, schooling and other counseling. The New York State Office of Court Administration have cited studies consistently showing lower recidivism rates for those who complete Drug Court programs as compared to those who are not treated for their addictions.
As Public Defender, Mr. Goodman is also a member of the Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council which develops strategic policy for the criminal justice system.
Mr. Goodman said, “I have strived to protect the constitutional rights of all of the clients served by the Public Defender Office and have sought results that can help or rehabilitate our clients. I am thankful to County Executive Steinhaus for the wonderful opportunity he gave me to serve as Public Defender and I appreciate the trust he placed in me. While the objectives of the Public Defender Office are difficult ones, I have always felt his encouragement and support,” said Mr. Goodman. “I have enjoyed the fine people I have worked with over the years. Dutchess County employs some of the most dedicated and hard working people I have had the opportunity with whom to work.”
Mr. Goodman, a resident of the Town of Poughkeepsie, has no immediate plans for retirement. He looks forward to having the time to visit museums and pursuing other interests.
County Executive Steinhaus concluded, “We wish David the very best in retirement, he will certainly be missed in county government.”
Mr. Goodman will officially retire on February 4, 2011.
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