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NAMPA -- A committee of legal professionals is recommending Canyon County change how it provides defense attorneys for indigent defendants.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports in a story published Sunday the committee suggests the county create an in-house public defender model rather than continue contracting defense duties out to Meridian-based Mimura Law Office.

The report says the county might have to increase its public defender budget by $600,000 or face a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho.

Third District Judge Molly Huskey chaired the committee that also included other judges and attorneys.

County Commissioner Craig Hanson says county leaders will examine their options.

The county currently pays Mimura $2.2 million annually. The committee says creating an in-house public defender office will cost about $2.8 million.

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