Chief Public Defender Receives State Award Presented By The New York State Defenders Association

Submitted by Justin Gould on Mon, 08/07/2023 - 10:32
Chief Public Defender Receives State Award

(Chautauqua County Chief Public Defender Nathaniel L. Barone receiving the Wilfred R. O'Connor award from the New York State Defenders Association.)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Chautauqua County’s Chief Public Defender has received a statewide award which honors the sustained commitment to client-centered representation of the poor and maintains the legacy of Wilfred R. O'Connor.

The Wilfred R. O'Connor was presented to Chautauqua County’s Chief Public Defender Nathaniel L. Barone by the New York State Defenders Association as part of the Association’s 56th Annual Meeting on Monday, July 31, 2023, at the Saratoga Hilton in Saratoga Springs, NY.

 “I’m extremely humbled and honored that I have been recognized with this Award and the recognition by my fellow Defense Attorneys throughout New York State,” said Barone in a statement. “I believe that it is a wonderful recognition of our Chautauqua County Public Defenders Office and the outstanding work and commitment of each and every individual who work diligently, 24/7, to help each one of our clients and the Community as a whole.”

Barone has been working as a Public Defender in Chautauqua County for nearly 12 years. Before joining county government, Barone operated N.L. Barone Law Offices. He received his Associates Degree from SUNY Jamestown Community College, a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science and Government from the University at Buffalo and a Ph.D. of Law Degree from the University of Toledo.

“In addition, I believe that it is also an honor and recognition for Chautauqua County and the tireless efforts of our County Administration in working with our Public Defenders Office, New York State Indigent Legal Services and the New York State Defenders Association in transforming the representation of the Indigent of our County and the continuous efforts in making sure that ALL individuals have equal access to the Criminal Justice System and the opportunity to be effectively and zealously represented,” continued Barone.

Wilfred R. O'Connor was a founding member of the Defenders Association and its president from 1978 to 1989. His beliefs were clear: every defendant, regardless of race, color, creed, or economic status, deserves a day in court and zealous client-centered representation. O'Connor believed in making a difference one life at a time – through mercy, justice, and compassion.

In 2004, the NYSDA Board established the Wilfred R. O’Connor Award to remember Bill and honor his sustained commitment to the client-centered representation of the poor.


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