LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The Livingston County Board of Supervisors is not re-appointing longtime Chief Public Defender Marcea Clark-Tetamore for another four-year term.
Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle said that the decision was made after the Board of Supervisors deliberated on her reappointment.
“Ms. Tetamore’s service to the County will end on 12/31/17 due to a change in direction for the leadership of the Public Defender’s Office,” said Coyle. “I thank her for years of service to the County.”
Tetamore declined to make formal comment at this time.
Coyle said that Assistant Public Defender Lindsay Quintilone will serve as ‘interim/acting’ Chief Public Defender starting Jan. 1, 2018.
“The Board of Supervisors will discuss the matter at their meeting next week,” said Coyle. The Board could vote to appoint the next Chief Public Defender at that meeting.
Tetamore has been Livingston County’s Chief Public Defender for 17 and a half years. She and many assistants over the years have represented thousands of criminal defendants who applied for her services because they could not afford a private attorney.
She has tried several high-profile cases. She famously represented William Wise of Livonia, who was charged for the murder of Amy Sayle. Wise was convicted of Manslaughter instead of murder and sentenced to 25 years by Judge Raymond Cornelius.
She has taken passionate stances on several criminal cases and on issues affecting the Public Defender’s Office.
In 2015, she said she was ‘disgusted with the District Attorney’s Office‘ and that her client, Matthew Bennett, was forced to plead guilty and accept an ‘excessive’ prison sentence of 15 years in state prison and 20 years of post-release supervision for Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a B felony.
In 2016, she expressed concern to the Board of Supervisors in her annual report that state mandates would increase in case work load as a result of then-imminent expanded public defense eligibility parameters.
In January 2017, she advised the County to ignore the state guidelines that had been passed expanding the public defense eligibility parameters.