Supervisors to Appoint Interim Public Defender

The Orange County Board of Supervisors are slated name a temporary head of the county Public Defender’s office Tuesday to replace Public Defender Frank Ospino, who was appointed to a judgeship.

The public defender’s office represents criminal defendants who can’t afford their own attorney.  It has about 400 employees and a budget of $72 million.

The office, particularly Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders, brought to light widespread misconduct by local prosecutors and sheriff’s deputies in their handling of an informants network inside county jails. 

Ospino, who served as the public defender chief since 2012, was appointed last month by Gov. Jerry Brown to fill the seat of Orange County Superior Court Judge Luis A. Rodriguez, who retired.

You can contact Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

  • LFOldTimer

    I was never impressed by Ospino. The fact that he was appointed a judgeship is illuminating.

  • LFOldTimer

    I’d rather see Scott Sanders appointed to a judgeship, but that’s just me. I think he’s more deserving. They should mount a statue of the man in front of the courthouse. I’ve never seen a public defender so darned determined with such pit-bull wild-eyed abandon in the courtroom. He’s like a modern day Atticus Finch. I never expected such a performance from a man who works in the PD’s office. It left me with a completely different perspective on PD work. One hard-charging hombre Scott is. And no. I’ve never been in the same room with him, nor am I related. I just call ’em as I see ’em.

  • Jacki Livingston

    The Board of Supervisors should not be appointing the Public Defender. They have proven themselves to be incapable of dealing with any kind of misconduct.