Ulster lawmakers reject Ryan’s nominee for public defender

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(photo: https://legislature.ulstercountyny.gov/)

KINGSTON – By a 14 to 9 vote, the Ulster County Legislature Tuesday night rejected County Executive Patrick Ryan’s nominee for public defender – Lauren Sheeley.

The primary issue that led to her defeat was the fact that she has no experience in criminal law, something lawmakers repeated over and over when they cast their votes.

Lauren Sheeley

Supporters said she would have an experience and supportive staff to assist and that she would be an excellent administrator.

Lawmakers also dismissed any hint of gender bias.

Sheeley has been chief attorney with Mid-Hudson Legal Services, an agency that deals primarily with family law.

Ryan will now have to nominate another candidate for the post and the message was sent to him by the vote that he or she must have experience in criminal law and trials.