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A few words with Alex Bunin

The Sunday Chron had a brief conversation with the head of Harris County’s new public defender office, Alex Bunin.

Q: You don’t know if the office is going to save taxpayer dollars for attorneys per case, but you say it will be a better value for the money spent?

A: Absolutely. If you’re asking me to give you a dollar figure that says it’s going to save this amount of money, I can’t tell you that. But we think we’re going to do it in a more efficient manner and provide better representation.

Q: Why is that?

A: You’re going to have lawyers who have access to the assistance of other lawyers and investigators on a round-the-clock basis. You’re just going to have a greater body of knowledge and assistance.

Q: But the hope is that it will save the county money, especially in jail beds?

A: Right. You can’t just compare what you’re paying assigned lawyers to what you’re paying us. There are so many interrelations in the system that are outside of what the courts pay lawyers. There’s the jail cost, there’s the social services, there are a lot of things that are affected.

Good stuff. Mr. Bunin is high on the list of people I’m looking forward to interviewing in the future. I wish him and his office good luck in completing their mission.

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