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New Chief Public Defender Appointed

New Chief Public Defender Appointed
Posted on 07/17/2023
Photo of Elizabeth Cadiz

The Aurora Public Defender Commission has appointed Elizabeth Cadiz as the city’s new Chief Public Defender.

Cadiz, who joined Aurora’s Public Defender’s Office in 2012, was promoted to the Chief Deputy position in 2017. She assumed the role of Chief Public Defender starting July 1, following the retirement of Doug Wilson.

Cadiz has served as a criminal defense attorney since 2008 following graduation from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law in Northern Kentucky University. She stated that her passion has never wavered in her commitment to protecting the Bill of Rights and ensuring indigent clients are afforded the highest level of representation promised by the state and federal constitutions. She has tried over 100 jury trials, and litigated countless motions and several appeals, many of which resulted in victories for her clients.

Cadiz noted that she appreciates the leadership and hard work of Wilson, who she believes left the city’s Public Defender’s Office better equipped than ever before to serve the city and its residents.

“I am honored to follow his lead as the next Chief Public Defender,” she said. “As an attorney who has dedicated my career to public defense and served as a Deputy here for the last 10 years, I believe strongly in the constitutionally required advocacy, protection, and defense that this office provides to Aurora’s accused every day. With the support of the Public Defender Commission, I am committed to ensuring that Aurora’s Public Defender’s Office continues to serve as a model defense organization in Colorado and beyond for many years to come.”

The right to legal representation for all people appearing before any U.S. court is enshrined in both the U.S. Constitution and the state of Colorado’s constitution. The city of Aurora’s charter states that “the public defender and his or her assistant, shall ensure that indigent clients are represented independently of any political consideration or private interests, provide legal services to indigent persons accused of violation of municipal ordinances that are commensurate with those available to non-indigents, and conduct the office in accordance with the Colorado Code of Professional Standards relating to the administration of criminal justice, the defense function."

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