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Molinaro Announces Public Defender Appointment

Published: 12/3/2012

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro is pleased to announce his selection of Thomas Angell as Public Defender. Mr. Angell has served as Acting Public Defender since February, 2011. The appointment is effective January 1, 2013.

“Tom Angell is an excellent attorney and a passionate advocate for all those that he serves,” said County Executive Molinaro.  “Tom’s longtime experience working within the criminal justice system of Dutchess County will ensure the tradition of providing effective, quality representation through the Public Defender’s Office continues.”

Mr. Angell has more than 31 years of experience practicing law. He is a graduate of Rhinebeck High School and Earlham College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor degree with Honors from Hofstra Law School. He began his career as the Reginald Heber Smith Fellow for Mid-Hudson Legal Services, Inc of Poughkeepsie. He joined Dutchess County Government as Senior Assistant Public Defender in 1989. He was named Chief Assistant Public Defender in 2004 and served in this role until February, 2011 when he was appointed as Acting Public Defender following the retirement of David Goodman.

He serves as a member of the Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council, where he is Co-Chair of the Jail/ATI Committee and Co-Chair of the Reentry Committee. He was a major contributor to the recently issued CJC report Criminal Justice Needs Assessment.

Mr. Angell’s work as an advocate for indigent clients was recognized by the New York State Bar Association when the organization presented him the Dennison Ray Criminal Defendant Staff Award in 1995. He was honored for his work for the homeless in the Hudson Valley when he was recognized by the National Association of Social Workers with the Hudson Valley Division’s Citizen of the Year Award in 1989.

Mr. Angell is actively involved in the community. He currently serves as a member of the Town of Stanford Planning Board and on the Board of Directors for the Dutchess County Agricultural Society. He has previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of Dutchess Count, Dutchess Outreach and the Alternative Crisis Pregnancy Center, Inc. He has also volunteered for the United Way of Dutchess County and served as the Clerk of Bulls Head Meeting for the Religious Society of Friends in Clinton Corners.

Mr. Angell and his wife Janet, reside in the Town of Stanford on the Bentley Farm where they have raised their eight children. His extended family has operated the Bentley Farm for several generations.

Mr. Angell said, “Dutchess County is fortunate to have a highly dedicated group of professionals working in its Public Defender’s office. It has been my distinct pleasure to oversee the operations of our office for the past 22 months as Acting Public Defender. I appreciate the confidence that County Executive Molinaro has shown in me by appointing me as Public Defender.  I look forward to building on the fine work of my predecessors and continuing to provide high quality legal representation to the individuals assigned to our office by the courts of Dutchess County.”

The Dutchess County Public Defender’s Office is a legal service component of Dutchess County Government, providing quality legal representation to indigent clients who have been accused of a crime. The Public Defender’s Office assists indigent individuals who have been contacted regarding a criminal police matter, before they have been formally charged and advocates for the protection of the constitutional rights of clients, working toward achieving results that have the greatest likelihood to help and/or rehabilitate clients in need.

A resolution confirming the appointment of Mr. Angell as Public Defender will be voted on by the Dutchess County Legislature at its December 6th board meeting.