The Washtenaw County Office of Public Defender was established in 1971 by our Board of Commissioners with the aid of a federal grant requiring that the department be an integral part of the executive branch of county government and independent of the judiciary. Since that time, the Office has become a full and equal partner in the public safety and justice system within the county and is represented in all relevant programming, policy or procedural committees. It handles all criminal, juvenile and special civil law appointments and provides a wide array of services related to probation violations, line-ups, personal protection orders, extraditions, Friend of the Court matters, bond reduction hearings, diversions and response to legal questions from the public.
The Office partners with businesses, non-profits, schools, churches and other units of government to prevent crime and enhance public safety by rendering top quality legal representation as needed to enforce constitutionally mandated public defense competently, effectively, efficiently, ethically and vigorously in all criminal, juvenile and civil law appointments in order to achieve justice where rights are protected, due process is received fairly and equally, rehabilitation is effective, recidivism is reduced and re-entry into society as law-abiding and productive residents is realized.
Lloyd E. Powell
Washtenaw County Public Defender
The outcome sought for everyone is to have a safe and just society where in addition to the prevention of racial profiling, domestic violence and the neglect or abuse of children, there are also viable resources available to ensure that those in need receive appropriate mental health treatment, diversion from incarceration without any compromise to safety, locally based substance abuse treatment and services, educational and training opportunities for gainful employment, and adequate housing within a community that has put an end to homelessness.
Our department is also comprised of dedicated career attorneys who operate as well trained, experienced and coordinated teams with full parity in salaries with prosecutors and, most importantly, one that meets all of the Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System established or adopted by the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan Campaign for Justice and the Michigan Public Defense Task Force. At any given time, the Office is further augmented with many select volunteer attorneys plus an average of 60-80 volunteer select student lawyers and investigators from law schools and universities throughout the country.
In addition to reducing the cost of doing business while providing top quality service, our Office forever seeks to improve the justice system whereby the double tragedy never occurs in our jurisdiction of having an innocent person convicted and punished while the guilty person escapes penalty altogether and remains free to continue to abuse, harm and endanger the community.
Thanks again for the visit to our website and please view the remainder of it to check out our
staff pictures (by clicking on them to enlarge) and learn more about us. And, finally, do feel
free to contact us when you need help because we are here to serve you.
Lloyd E. Powell
County Public Defender
Public Defender Staff 2012
Public Defender Staff 2002
Public Defender Staff 1992
Public Defender Staff 1982
Articles about the Office of Public Defender:
The above picture shows veteran County Public Defender Lloyd E. Powell in the center after receiving the State Bar of Michigan's "Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award" from outgoing State Bar of Michigan (SBM) President Edward Pappas (on the left) and incoming President Charles Toy (on the right) at the 2009 SBM Annual Meeting at the Awards Banquet held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. Janet K, Welch, Executive Director of SBM had previously notified Public Defender Powell that at its June meeting, the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners approved the recommendation of the Awards Committee to select him and the veteran Prosecutor for Alpena County, Dennis P. Grenkowicz, to receive this prestigious award.
The Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes extraordinary governmental service by a member of the State Bar of Michigan.
Criteria for the award are:
- A present or former member of the State Bar of Michigan
- Service in public office (elected or appointed official) in a way that strengthens the American system of justice under the law
- Demonstration of the highest standards of integrity, fairness, leadership, excellence, dedication to principle, and dedication to the ideals of democracy
- Has made a significant lasting contribution to the nation, the state, or the community in which the public servant lives or serves
1998, Frank J. Kelley
1999, Gerald R. Ford
2000, Dorothy Comstock Riley
2001, John D. O'Hair
2002, Sen. Dan L. DeGrow; Saul A. Green
2003, Robert P. Griffin
2004, no award
2005, Rep. John D. Dingell
2006, Philip A. Balkema; Hon. Douglas W. Hillman
2007, Hon. Donald Shelton; Kym L. Worthy
2008, Thomas L. Casey; Bruce A. Timmons
2009, Dennis P.Grenkowicz; Lloyd E. Powell
View the Award Presentation Video
(video will launch externally, click on to enlarge)
Lloyd E. Powell with staff, friends and family celebrating after the Award ceremony.