Mary Moriarty has been selected as the chief public defender for the 4th Judicial District. Moriarty will replace William Ward who was appointed as State Public Defender in April of this year. Moriarty will serve out the remainder of a four year term which expires in December 2016. The 4th District consists of Hennepin County.
Moriarty is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. She served as an assistant public defender from 1990-2009, and has been the managing attorney of the adult division in the office since 2010. In addition she has served as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School and the University of Minnesota Law School.
In her new role, she will oversee the operation and activities of Minnesota’s largest public defender office. The 4th district office has a staff of 175 attorneys and professional staff who handle approximately 45,000 cases per year, with an annual budget of approximately $20 million.
Minnesota’s public defenders handle approximately 150,000 cases annually, including 90 percent of all felony cases. The Board of Public Defense has an annual budget of $70,000,000 and currently has 680 employees.