Canyon County appoints first chief public defender

newsroom@idahostatesman.comJune 11, 2014 

— The Canyon County Board of Commissioners has appointed Tera A. Harden as the county’s first chief public defender.

Harden will officially start her new role in July so she will have time to build her staff before the county's new in-house Public Defender’s Department officially goes into service on Oct. 1. The Public Defender Department will be housed in the newly built Canyon County Administration Building in Caldwell

Harden, who currently practices law as a criminal defense attorney in Riverside, California, was born in Moscow, Idaho and raised in Bonners Ferry. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho in 1999.

Harden moved to California following law school to pursue her legal career. In 2001, she joined the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney. In 2003, she returned to criminal defense practice.

“I’m thrilled that the Commissioners have taken the lead in the state by recognizing the need and providing the opportunity to build a first class office to serve the community,” said Harden in a press release. “I am excited by the prospect of returning to my home state to usher in this new era of public defense in Canyon County.”

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