Missouri Judge Stops Appointment Of Nixon As Public Defender

Jay Nixon

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge is blocking the state public defender director from appointing Gov. Jay Nixon to a case.

An order Thursday by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce said only courts can appoint defenders.

Missouri Public Defender System Director Michael Barrett appointed Nixon to the case in protest of what he says is inadequate funding to hire enough public defenders for people who can’t afford to hire lawyers.

Nixon is a former state attorney general.

Nixon said in a statement Thursday the public defender’s office has received an increase in funding since he’s been in office. He said the agency should work on increasing efficiency before asking for more money.

Barrett didn’t immediately return Associated Press requests for comment Thursday.