Scales of justice

The head of the public defenders' office in Billings will leave the position by the end of the month to be closer to family.

Chad Glenn, who is the regional deputy public defender in Billings, said he will move but stay with the Office of the Public Defender.

"I'm staying with OPD, but I'm going to a different office," he said.

Glenn will handle conflict cases in Bozeman, he said. Those are cases that often involve multiple defendants and require another attorney to avoid conflicts in representation. Glenn has previously worked in Helena and Bozeman.

The regional Office of the Public Defender in Billings has 42 employees, including 26 attorneys. The agency has undergone many changes statewide, including budget cuts and a reform bill from the 2017 Montana Legislature.

Those changes included the dissolution of an advisory commission, putting power in the hands of administrators in Helena. Harry Freebourn, interim director at the state office, said that while the department looks to fill the top position in Billings, it also hopes to fill out administrative positions in the capital city.

“We’ve made a lot of changes," he said. "We’re going to hire for some top jobs here in the next couple weeks.”

The state directory shows that two of four administrator positions are vacant, not including the director position.

The Billings regional deputy public defender position has seen turnover in the last couple years. David A. Duke left in March 2016 over poor performance and an inappropriate romantic relationship. Another regional deputy took over on a temporary basis before Glenn was hired.

Freebourn said they are advertising for the open Billings position, and some names have already surfaced.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.