Inyo County Public Defender Gerard Harvey has resigned from his position and awaits results of two arrests on alleged being under the influence.
Harvey was arrested a few weeks back for allegedly being under the influence while he performed his duties in court. The case was referred to the Attorney General's office. Last week, the Inyo Narcotic Enforcement Team arrested Harvey again on the same allegation. INET Commander Jeff Hollowell said that Harvey's arrest was "based on objective evidence", and he said that Mr. Harvey "did not appear normal" in court.
Harvey did submit to a drug test. Hollowell had said that a "stimulant to the central nervous system" was detected.
Harvey's resignation throws the Inyo County Public Defender's department into some chaos. Harvey handled a large number of criminal cases. County Administrator Kevin Carunchio had confirmed that Harvey resigned for "personal reasons." Carunchio said the County is in the process of identifying someone to take over the case load.
As for criticism that the Public Defender's department was already shy of lawyers, Carunchio said that in the future he will work with the judges and public defenders on service levels. Meanwhile, the existing public defenders have pulled together to handle the case load.