Posted 9 months ago
By John Axtell
The Dawes County Commissioners have named a Lincoln lawyer to be the next county public defender. Jerrod Jaeger will succeed Paul Wess, who resigned after being named to the county court bench in March.
Commissioner Stacy Swinney, who served on the 4 member screening committee, says Jaeger has verbally accepted the offer, but that a contract has not yet been signed. He would serve out the rest of Wess’s term, which runs through 2016.
Jaeger, in private practice in Lincoln the past 8 years, would start later this month on Monday the 17th and would work 3 days a week for the first month while closing down his Lincoln practice and making the move.
Deputy Box Butte County Public Defender Jon Worthman has been the acting Dawes County Public Defender, and the commissioners say he’s done a fine job and they hope to keep him involved with the county in one form or another.
They plan to meet with Worthman and Jaeger at their next meeting in two weeks to discuss the transition. Deputy County Attorney Adam Edmond told the commissioners it would probably be best if Worthman handled all his current cases to their conclusion, but that the decision would be up to County Judge Russ Harford.
Jaeger was selected from among a pool of 7 statewide applicants. Five were chosen for interviews, but 2 withdrew before the interviews after accepting positions elsewhere. Swinney says all 7 were strong canddidates.
Jaeger is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law and has extensive experience in litigation and criminal defense. He lists his outside interests as including fishing, golfing, and gardening.