Travis County hires inaugural chief public defender

Adeola Ogunkeyede will begin as Travis County's chief public defender April 20. (Courtesy University of Virginia School of Law)
Adeola Ogunkeyede will begin as Travis County's chief public defender April 20. (Courtesy University of Virginia School of Law)

Adeola Ogunkeyede will begin as Travis County's chief public defender April 20. (Courtesy University of Virginia School of Law)

Travis County commissioners announced at a Feb. 4 meeting they had hired Adeola Ogunkeyede to serve as chief of the county’s forthcoming public defender’s office. She will begin April 20.

Ogunkeyede is a lecturer at the University of Virginia law school’s civil rights clinic and the legal director of the Legal Aid Justice Center’s civil rights and racial justice program in Charlottesville. She previously was the director of staff development at the Bronx Defenders.

“This is a very exciting new face for the county, and I’m very excited about her coming here to head up our new public defender’s office,” Commissioner Brigid Shea said.

Ogunkeyede was one of 45 applicants for the position. An oversight group tasked by commissioners to oversee the development of the office interviewed seven candidates and recommended two—including Ogunkeyede—for further interviews by commissioners.

In August, Travis County received a $48 million grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission—the largest ever awarded by the state agency—to create a public defender’s office.


Austin is the largest city in the country without such an office, which represents criminal defendants who cannot afford to hire an attorney.

The office will begin taking cases later this year.

When the grant expires in 2024, the office is scheduled to have a 67-person staff—about two-thirds of whom will be attorneys—taking on 30% of indigent defendants.

The remainder will continue to be represented by private attorneys paid a flat fee by the county.

Emma Freer



MOST RECENT

A photo of a "sold" sign
Central Austin August housing market numbers show high dollar-volume sales

While housing inventory remains low, home prices continue to rise.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus testing site in Pflugerville to move and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Lions Municipal Golf Course clubhouse (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
State-created Save Muny Historic District to take over concession responsibilities at historic golf course

Negotiations over the fate of the Lions Municipal Golf Course remain ongoing between the city and The University of Texas board of regents.

Central Health administrative building in Austin
Central Health finalizes budget with increased tax rate, more health care services for low-income residents

Local health care district Central Health is budgeting a nearly $20 million increase in health care delivery services for Austin’s low-income residents.

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Baylor Scott & White Health to host 9 Austin-area drive-thru flu shot clinics

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock.

A band performs at the Mohawk on Red River Street. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Six months into pandemic, Austin officials scrambling to save music venues, child care facilities and restaurants

City Council is set to begin making choices on which businesses to try to save on Oct. 1.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Austin City Limits Music Festival will present a free virtual broadcast from Oct. 9-11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free virtual broadcast of ACL Music Festival to be held Oct. 9-11 and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

Austin City Limits Music Festival will present a free virtual broadcast from Oct. 9-11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Limits Music Festival to present virtual broadcast Oct. 9-11

The in-person form of the 2020 festival was canceled for the first time since it began in 2002.

Army Futures Command leadership tour renovations to the Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus with ACC Chancellor Richard Rhodes and trustee Gigi Edwards Bryant. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
Austin Community College, Army Futures Command to launch software incubator program this winter

The program will be located at the renovated ACC Rio Grande campus in downtown Austin.