By Mike Kruzman /

A resolution that helps pave the way for a partnership between a pair of Livingston County Specialty Courts and the Public Defender’s Office has been approved.

The Public Defender’s Office currently provides representation for Livingston County Adult Drug Court, and should soon begin to do the same for its Veterans Treatment Court and Intensive Treatment Mental Health Court. Defendants in those two latter courts are currently getting representation from attorney Paige Favio, however her contract was set to expire on Thursday.

A February request to extend her contract to allow a new contract to go out for bid led to discussions between County Commissioners and the Public Defender’s Office, inquiring on the feasibility of the Public Defender’s Office taking on the caseloads.

Chief Public Defender Karen Groenhout and Specialty Courts and Program Administrator Sarah Applegate believe they have come up with a plan that will allow for that and bring a positive result for all parties involved.

To help bridge the time for that implementation, they have requested that Favio’s contract be extended for 3 months, with an option for an additional 3 months. The Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the extension.