A new top public defender was appointed to the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office, said County officials Friday.
Randy Mize, who rose through the ranks over nearly three decades with the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office was named to the top post. Mize, age 57, will take over Mar. 31 from outgoing Public Defender Henry Coker, who is retiring, the county’s Public Safety Group announced.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead such a dedicated team of attorneys, investigators, administrators and support staff,” Mize said.
He said he plans to continue the department’s fiscally responsible, collaborative approach to working with fellow public safety departments. The Public Defender’s core focus will continue to be on understanding the needs of clients, and providing less penal and more rehabilitative solutions, Mize said.
One of the original attorneys to join the Public Defender’s Office, Mize started in the department shortly after it was created in 1988.
Mize became the juvenile delinquency branch supervisor in 1996, working on some of the department’s highest-profile cases, including defending the Santana High School shooter Andy Williams in 2001.
Since 2009, he has managed the Primary Public Defender’s Office, which employs 290 of the department’s 365 overall employees. In recent years, Mize has navigated an array of major policy and operational changes, including the passage of AB 109, the state-mandated realignment of prison inmates to local custody and post-release supervision, and other voter-approved initiatives.
— City News Service
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