Ned Barone selected public defender again

MAYVILLE – Ned Barone has been appointed public defender for Chautauqua County for a second, consecutive two-year term.

There was no discussion after a unanimous vote Wednesday night by county legislators put Barone in the position.

“I’m ecstatic,” Barone said of the legislature’s complete support. “It’s humbling to know they have the confidence in me to do the best job I can for the county.”

Barone is no stranger to the trade.

He recently represented Anthony R. Taglianetti II, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in November after killing Keith Reed Jr., former Clymer Central School superintendent, in September 2012.

Taglianetti’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Barone’s next major case will involve four men in connection to the double homicide of Gordon and Joyce Skinner in the town of Carroll on April 17, 2013.

Ricky L. Knickerbocker, 18; Joshua A. McCormick, 21; Steven W. Todd, 18; and David Coggins, 34, all of Elmira, were charged with two counts each of felony second-degree murder in their initial court appearance in Carroll.

Barone will represent Coggins, while the other defendants will be assigned counsel.

Trial is set to take place in March.

“Ned’s had a very busy schedule,” Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan said Wednesday night. “This was the decision of legislature, and I support it as well.”

In 2012, legislators approved Barone by a vote of 18 to 7 after a vote failed to return R. Thomas Rankin to the position. Rankin was public defender from 2010-12.

Also during the meeting, a resolution was unanimously approved denying New York state permission to use the name and seal of the county for purposes relating to the SAFE Act.

Controversy has surrounded the gun control law since it was enacted in January 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Both the sheriff (Joe Gerace) and the county clerk (Larry Barmore) in discussion have expressed displeasure of this usage, and encourage this legislature likewise,” said John Runkle, R-Stockton.

The next legislature meeting will take place Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.