Supervisors Approve Salary for Interim Public Defender

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today approved a $219,217 annual salary for the interim public defender, as a search gets under way to permanently fill the position.

Brian Boles, 61, was appointed to temporarily take the helm of the Office of the Public Defender after the county Executive Office discharged Gary Windom on Nov. 7.

Boles had been an assistant public defender, working directly under Windom, since July 2001, according to the county Executive Office.

In addition to his $105.39-per-hour pay, the board approved a $550 per month car allowance for Boles, The vehicle coverage is standard for department heads.

It’s unknown whether Boles will be competing for the permanent post. County CEO Jay Orr told the board today that the process of finding suitable candidates for the public defender job is slated to begin in the next few weeks. Only qualified in-state residents will be eligible to apply.

The county has not disclosed the circumstances behind the ”release” of Windom or Assistant Public Defender Peter Scalisi on the same day, citing human resources policy.

Windom, 62, was appointed to head the Office of the Public Defender in 1999. Earlier this year, a complaint against him was lodged with the State Bar in which current and former deputy public defenders alleged he suffered from frequent memory loss, had turned a blind eye to sexual harassment and other problems in his office and had summarily discharged employees he perceived as disloyal.

The State Bar found the allegations lacked merit.

According to published reports, Scalisi, who was hired by the county in 2010, was sanctioned by the State Bar for failing to refund thousands of dollars in fees to a client he represented while in private practice. A two- year suspension on his law license was imposed, but the State Bar stayed the action.

However, it recommended disciplinary measures for two driving under the influence arrests, including one in Orange County to which Scalisi pleaded no contest in 2008.

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