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VISALIA — Veteran attorney Erin Brooks takes over as the new Tulare County Public Defender on Sunday.

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors announced on Tuesday that Brooks would succeed Lisa Bertolino-Mueting, who is retiring.

“I am confident that Erin is a quality choice for the position of public defender,” said board chair Amy Shuklian in a news release. “Her array of cases managed, ranging from misdemeanors to homicides, including death penalty cases, along with her long-term commitment to the county of Tulare, will greatly benefit the Public Defender’s office.”

The office represents people charged with crimes in state court who can’t afford private counsel. The Tulare County Public Defender’s Office has special teams to handle mental health and juvenile matters.

Brooks Joined the Office in 2004

Brooks graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in criminal justice in 2000. She received a J.D. from California Western School of Law in 2003. A year later, she joined the Tulare County Public Defender’s Office. And, she became a supervising attorney in 2017.

“I look forward to working with Erin in her new role. Erin’s variety of experience, leadership ability, and expertise will serve this county well,” said Tulare County Chief Administrative Officer Jason T. Britt.

Brooks’ base salary will be $175,000 annually.

Bertolino-Mueting was the county’s public defender for nearly seven years.

 

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