Thursday proved to be not only a busy day for statewide candidate filings and offices, but also for Hope Attorney Blake Montgomery as he received new statewide responsibilities of his own, being named by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the seven-member Arkansas Public Defender Commission.

Thursday proved to be not only a busy day for statewide candidate filings and offices, but also for Hope Attorney Blake Montgomery as he received new statewide responsibilities of his own, being named by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the seven-member Arkansas Public Defender Commission.
The Arkansas Public Defender Commission oversees all public defender operations in the state of Arkansas, including Hempstead and Nevada counties.
“It is an honor to be appointed by the Governor to represent this area. The Public Defender Commission provides excellent services to criminal defendants across the state and is a crucial part of our judicial system.  I aim to do what I can to support our judicial system through this appointment,” Montgomery said Thursday afternoon shortly after learning he had been named.
The Arkansas Public Defender Commission was created by Act 1193 of 1993, codified at Arkansas Code Annotated §§ 16-87-201 through -214, to address representation of indigent or financially-disadvantaged criminal defendants throughout the state.
The Commission consists of seven members, each appointed by the Governor, and the commission oversees an Executive Director as well as several “District Managers” throughout the state.
The District Manager for what is called “District 8-North,” comprised of Hempstead and Nevada counties is Danny Rodgers of Hope.
Montgomery is appointed for a term lasting until July 2022; he replaces Eugene Bramblett, an attorney from Camden.
Other APDC members include Tonya Alexander of Marion, the Honorable Samuel Barr
Carroll County Judge of Berryville; Jerry Patterson of Marshall, and the Honorable David Talley, Columbia County Circuit Court Judge of Magnolia, and W. H. Taylor of Fayetteville.
Also named to the Commission today with Montgomery was Quincy McKinney of Conway, who replaced Jerry Larkowski of Little Rock. Larkowski had also served as the Commission’s chairman.
In APDC’s mission statement says “The Arkansas Public Defender Commission exists to guarantee that the poor have that fundamental right to a fair trial. The public defender ensures the protection of due process rights for its clients at all stages of a criminal proceeding by informing, advising, advocating, and negotiating on behalf of the client.”