Treasurer distributes funds to counties

Treasurer distributes funds to counties State Treasurer Dick Butler announced Nov. 12 his office distributed $871,967 to counties in South Dakota to help cover their costs for public defenders and court appointed attorneys.

Butler said the state treasury also sent $144,078 to counties to assist them with legal costs for abused and neglected children. The monies come from court costs assessed statewide in criminal cases. Clay County received $7,778.66 from the treasury.

Last year counties spent $6,354,067 for public defenders and court appointed attorneys to represent indigent criminal defendants. They spent $612,774 to provide legal representation for abused and neglected children, Butler said.

Clay County spent $52,747.94 to defend indigent criminal defendants and $2,296.96 to provide legal representation for abused and neglected children.

State law allocates $6 from court costs assessed in all criminal cases to a court appointed attorney and public defender payment fund and $1 to an abused and neglected child defense fund. The state treasurer annually distributes these monies to counties based on the amounts spent by each county for public defenders and court appointed attorneys and representation of abused and neglected children.

Butler said 65 counties received funds for public defenders and court appointed attorneys and 51 counties received monies for representation of abused and neglected children. Last year 66 counties received money for public defenders and court appointed attorneys and 42 counties received funds for representation of abused and neglected children.

Total county expenditures in fiscal year 2002 for court appointed attorneys and public defenders were $6,354,067 according to figures provided to the state treasurer by county auditors. The counties spent $612,745 to provide legal representation to abused and neglected children last year.

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