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.