New head of Scotts Bluff County Public Defender office brings decades of experience to office (copy)

Harry Moore, Scotts Bluff Public Defender's Office

Scotts Bluff County Defender Harry Moore, who assumed his duties just months ago, has tendered his resignation.

It was short notice for the county board, as the item had to be added to the agenda after publication Friday.

The board went into closed session to work out the terms of Moore’s resignation during Monday’s meeting. Commissioners said the closed session was warranted because it involved personnel and possible damage to the reputations of those involved.

“Harry’s decision just came about on Monday,” said County Board Chairman Ken Meyer after the meeting. “He decided to move on and do some other things.”

Meyer said the executive session was called to discuss the terms of his separation from the county.

Deputy Public Defender Paul Payne has agreed to take over as public defender on an interim basis until the county board decides how they will go forward for filling the lead position.

Moore had been appointed to the position following the retirement of long-time public defender Bernie Straetker and began on Dec. 31.

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Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at

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