ELIZABETHTOWN -A plan to have the clerk of the Essex County Board of Supervisors assigning counsel for those in need of representation in family court has been tabled for the moment.
County Chairman Randy Douglas said at the May 2 meeting of the board that the county had to come up with an updated policy on assigning counsel before they could move forward with their resolution.
"We are supposed to have an assigned counsel plan for the county," Douglas said. "The current one is outdated. When (county attorney) Daniel Manning gets back from a conference, we will go over the current plan to update it and then I will call for a special board meeting to approve the new plan and move forward with this resolution."
The board passed a resolution through the Ways and Means Committee that would assign the duties of administration for assigned counsel for family court from the office of Judge Richard Meyer to the clerk of the board's office.
Douglas said that the special board meeting would be needed because Meyer's office stated that it would no longer be able to do the job as of April 30.
"This puts us under the gun," Douglas said.
Once passed, the responsibility would fall on clerk to the board Deborah Palmer to assign counsel in all family court matters where counsel was needed.
The board also approved a resolution to allow Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting to set up a budget funded by a Homeland Security Grant for the purchase of a Recon Scout XT from Recon Robotics.
The grant will also pay for training on the equipment.
"There is a lot of training that is covered with the grant," Cutting said. "This is a robotic device that will be able to be deployed for surveillance, bomb detection, hostage situation and other needs. It is basically something that can be used in areas where you do not want to send a live person into."