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Barbour Appoints Lee as First State Public Defender

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– Gov. Haley Barbour today announced the appointment of Leslie Lee to manage the newly created Office of the State Public Defender. Her appointment begins July 1. Lee will continue to serve as the director of the Office of Indigent Appeals while in this new role. “Leslie Lee has extensive criminal law experience in our state and understands the importance of this office in the legal system,” Gov. Barbour said. “She is an excellent choice to lead this consolidated agency.” Gov. Barbour proposed combining the offices of indigent appeals and capital defense counsel and the public defender training division in the 2011 Legislative Session as a cost-savings measure. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 2563, approving the merger. The State Public Defender serves a four-year term and must be confirmed by the Senate. Lee has been director of the Office of Indigent Appeals since 2006. Previously, she has served as executive director of the Prosecutors Training Division in the Attorney General’s office, an assistant district attorney in Hinds County. She also has worked as a special assistant attorney general. Lee served both on active and reserve duty in the military. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve in 2009. In the reserves, she served as Chief of Administrative and Contract Law, deputy staff judge advocate and an assistant staff judge advocate. In active duty, she was a rear detachment staff judge advocate, defense counsel and an assistant command judge advocate. She has received several professional and military honors, including the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation Appellate Advocacy Award, Army Meritorious Service medals, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star and Army Commendation medals. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and law degree at the University of Mississippi. She is married to Joe Lee and has one son, John]]]]> ]]>

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