Wayne County Board of Supervisors honor retiring public defender James Kernan

The Wayne County Board of Supervisors said goodbye to the man who spent more than 30 years in the Public Defender’s Office, including seven years as its leader, and selected his interim successor at its meeting Tuesday.

James Kernan is retiring as Wayne County Public Defender as of Friday.

The office provides legal services to people charged with a crime who cannot afford a lawyer.

Andy Correia, Kernan’s longtime first assistant, was unanimously approved by supervisors to serve as interim public defender. He will begin his new duties March 24 and be paid $95,465.

A selection committee — to be made up of two supervisors, a representative of the county legal community, as well as County Administrator Rick House and Human Resources Director Charles Dye — is being formed to make a recommendation to the full board on a permanent successor.

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