Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has appointed Acting Public Defender Thomas Angell, formerly of Rhinebeck, to full-time Public Defender effective Jan. 1, 2013.
“Tom Angell is an excellent attorney and a passionate advocate for all those that he serves,” Molinaro said in a county news release on the appointment. “Tom’s longtime experience working within the criminal justice system of Dutchess County will ensure the tradition of providing effective, quality representation through the Public Defender’s Office continues.”
In turn, Angell said in the news release, “Dutchess County is fortunate to have a highly dedicated group of professionals working in its Public Defender’s office. It has been my distinct pleasure to oversee the operations of our office for the past 22 months as Acting Public Defender. I appreciate the confidence that County Executive Molinaro has shown in me by appointing me as Public Defender. I look forward to building on the fine work of my predecessors and continuing to provide high-quality legal representation to the individuals assigned to our office by the courts of Dutchess County.”
Angell, a graduate of Rhinebeck High School, has more than 31 years of experience practicing law. He received his law degree with honors from Hofstra Law School, and joined the county as Senior Assistant Public Defender in 1989. He was named Chief Assistant Public Defender in 2004 and served in that role until February, when he was appointed Acting Public Defender following the retirement of David Goodman.
He is a member of the Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council, where he co-chairs the Jail/ATI Committee and the Reentry Committee. He was also major contributor to the recently issued CJC report “Criminal Justice Needs Assessment.” In addition, he was recognized for his work as an advocate for indigent clients by the New York State Bar Association when the organization in 1995, and he was honored for his work for the homeless in the Hudson Valley when the National Association of Social Workers gave him the valley division’s Citizen of the Year award in 1989.
Mr. Angell is actively involved in the community. He currently He has previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of Dutchess Count, Dutchess Outreach and the Alternative Crisis Pregnancy Center, Inc. He has also volunteered for the United Way of Dutchess County and served as the Clerk of Bulls Head Meeting for the Religious Society of Friends in Clinton Corners.
He and his wife, Janet, live in the Town of Stanford on the Bentley Farm, where they have raised their eight children. His extended family has operated the Bentley Farm for several generations. He is also a member of the town’s Stanford Planning Board and on the Board of Directors for the Dutchess County Agricultural Society.