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County seeks bids for defender

After 15 years of utilizing the public defense services of Coupeville attorney Craig Platt, Island County is soliciting proposals to fulfill the contract services.

Island County Commissioners approved a request for proposals Monday during a regular meeting. Craig Platt from Platt and Arndt Attorneys at Law, appealed to the commissioners, saying that the decision placed him and his staff in jeopardy.

“I’ve got to take care of my financial situation,” Platt said. “I’ve got to take care of my family.”

Losing the contract could mean staff cutbacks, he said, emphasizing that he has delivered on his contractual obligation for 15 years.

“We’ve got a very good office,” he added. “We’ve got a very good staff.”

Although Platt expressed a desire to retain the contract, he said a bid for the job he is currently undertaking was not a certainty.

“I need to make this clear. If you go out for bid, I’m not sure I’m bidding,” he said, maintaining that he has dedicated his life and career to the county and his decision would ultimately boil down to finances and the welfare of his family.

Commissioner Mac McDowell said requests for proposals are common after a certain amount of time has elapsed. He said that he has been “pleased” with the public defense in the past.

“At some point we have to see what else is out there,” he said.

Commissioner Mike Shelton said he would be disappointed if Platt did not submit a bid. The three commissioners were complimentary of the past legal service, adding that the request for proposals is standard procedure.

“You’ve got three people here saying there’s no axe to grind,” McDowell said.

Factors examined while scrutinizing the proposals include price-costs, ability, experience, and a history of quality performance. The successful firm or association of attorneys would begin service the first of the year and ideally perform in that legal capacity through 2010. Responses from qualified attorneys must be submitted by August 4.

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