Public defender board gets more money

The Brown County Council is allowing additional money to the public defender board for their work in 2016.

Because of the Daniel Messel murder case which ended with a conviction in September, $18,000 more was needed for unexpected expenses, said Brown County Auditor Beth Mulry.

An additional $2,000 was requested to pay public defenders who work more than 20 hours on a case. That line item is included in the 2017 budget but wasn’t allowed for in the 2016 budget.

“When you have a flat salary, it doesn’t matter if they work hard or not on a particular case,” said advisory board chairman Michael Sutherlin, advocating for the change.

Both were approved. The money will come out of the county’s projected surplus, Mulry said.