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Kinney appointed chief public defender

Photo provided to the Times Observer Kord Kinney has been appointed the county’s next chief public defender.

Kord Kinney has been selected as the county’s next chief public defender.

A Port Allegany native, Kinney graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and worked in Pittsburgh for a time before taking a position as an assistant district attorney in Warren County, where he worked for about 18 months.

In the three years since he was in Warren County, he’s worked for the Potter County District Attorney as well as in a law office focusing on real estate matters while taking McKean County court appointments.

“I saw the opening for chief public defender here in Warren and have to thank the commissioners for giving me the opportunity to work in that capacity,” he said.

“I’m a blue collar but, it’s the way I was raised,” he added. “We are going to work our butts off to build a reputation of professionalism, hard work and quality legal representation of our clients.”

Kinney will be assisted by Assistant Public Defender Francis Waweru and Lenore Glotz, the department’s office manager.

He said Glotz “really gets the work that we are doing and is a huge asset” and credited Waweru’s work ethic, saying he looks “forward to working with him.”

“Like most, I stand for law and order,” he explained, “and the highest laws of our country are the Constitutional rights that we all enjoy. I intend to serve the residents of Warren County by ensuring, from our end, society’s interest in the fair administration of justice.”

Kinney takes over for Mike Kitay, who held the office for a short time. Kitay was appointed to the post after John Parroccini, who served in the capacity for many years, left the office.

It’s no secret that public defense work is challenging; he acknowledged the large caseload issue but said that “the commissioners have made it clear that they will support us with the resources we need in order to effectively represent every client.”

And that, he stressed, will include an understanding of each client’s individual circumstances.

Kinney called the post “almost a counseling job as much as it is an attorney job.

“The best part about the job is seeing the difference that we can make for our clients,” he said. “We can benefit the community by encouraging and supporting those in need of drug and alcohol treatment or mental health treatment to get those services to improve their lives and to become productive members in the community.”

“(I) want,” he added, “the community to feel confident they’ve got a good public defender in here.”

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