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DeKalb Public Defender leaves for private practice

Updated: August 2, 2012 10:31AM

DeKalb County Public Defender Regina Harris has resigned to go into private practice.

Harris had worked as a public defender for more than 20 years. Prior to being named the DeKalb County Public Defender in May 2007, she worked in the Kane County Public Defender’s Office.

On Friday, DeKalb County Presiding Judge Robin Stuckert announced that Harris had resigned.

“We wish to thank Ms. Harris for her service in a very demanding and often thankless position,” Stuckert said. “Ms. Harris was very passionate about our drug court in particular and was instrumental in its success.”

Stuckert appointed DeKalb County attorney Robert Carlson as acting public defender. Carlson has been in the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office since 2009. Stuckert said it is likely an interim public defender will be appointed while the county searches for a permanent replacement.

As public defender, Harris has been representing two recent high profile DeKalb County defendants — Jack Daniel McCullough, charged with kidnapping and murdering a 7-year-old Sycamore girl in 1957; and William Curl, charged with killing Antinette “Toni” Keller, and 18-year-old Neuqua Valley High School graduate whose remains were found in a park near Northern Illinois University, where she was a student.

Harris had also been a member of the committee working on developing the rules and policies for bringing cameras into the 16th Judicial Circuit courtrooms.

“It was a privilege to work on behalf of DeKalb County community these last five years,” Harris said. “I have been blessed with an amazing staff and wonderful colleagues and I know my successor will feel as fortunate as I did.”

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