October 7, 2022

Picente Appoints New Head Public Defender-Criminal Division

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Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that he has appointed long-time Assistant Public Defender Tina Hartwell to lead the Public Defender-Criminal Division.

“During the two-plus decades that Tina Hartwell has served Oneida County in the Public Defender-Criminal Division, she has supervised and managed attorneys and staff, while gaining critical administrative knowledge,” Picente said. “She has also worked closely with New York State offices to advance quality representation for all indigent defendants through grants, database and training. Tina is well prepared for this new role as head Public Defender, and I am confident she will do a fine job leading the Criminal Division into a new era.”

Hartwell assumed the role of head Public Defender of the Criminal Division on Sept. 19, 2022.

She began her career in the Oneida County Public Defender-Criminal Division in 2001, during which time she spent 13 years as Assistant Public Defender in the Major Crimes Division and three years in the City Courts section. For the past five years, she has also served as the Criminal Law Director for the Regional Immigration Assistance Center, Region 2, providing advice to defense attorneys in 16 counties throughout Central New York.

Hartwell possesses a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School and a Master of Arts in Speech Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Speech Communication from Syracuse University.

She is a member of the New York State and Oneida County Bar Associations, the Women’s bar Association of New York, the New York State Defenders Association, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

“I have dedicated my career to helping people who cannot afford an attorney navigate the criminal justice system through difficult times in their lives,” Hartwell said. “I am very fortunate to now be given this opportunity to lead an amazing group of attorneys and staff and continue the work of those before me who have served the people of Oneida County. I thank County Executive Picente for this honor and I look forward to changing the lives of those who come through this office.”

Hartwell replaces Frank Nebush who retired as head Public Defender-Criminal Division in December 2020 after 39 years in the position. Assistant Public Defender Leland McCormick had been serving as acting Public Defender-Criminal Division since Jan.1, 2021.

Oneida County Partners