Tulsa County's chief public defender, Pete Silva, to retire after 22 years
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 04, 2012
10/04/12 at 4:29 AM
Pete Silva, Tulsa County's chief public defender for 22 years, is retiring effective Nov. 30.
Silva submitted his retirement notice to Tulsa County Presiding District Judge William Kellough this week.
After the opening is advertised and applicants are screened, the district and associate district judges will hire the new chief public defender.
Silva has worked in the Public Defender's Office for 27 years, part of that time as an intern and as a deputy defender.
He was hired as the chief public defender in 1981.
Silva resigned that post in 1987 to join a private law firm. In 1996, he was again selected to lead the Public Defender's Office.
Silva has had an "extremely distinguished career" in the Public Defender's Office, Kellough said.
Although public defenders handle various court duties, the most visible job of the office is to defend criminal defendants who can't afford to hire private attorneys to represent them.
"I went to law school to be a public defender," Silva said Wednesday. ''I am thankful to be a lawyer for all these years."
Silva, 65, said being a public defender "is a commitment."
Public defenders make "a commitment to helping people who have no one else to turn to for help,'' he said.
Original Print Headline: Tulsa County's chief public defender to retire after 22 years
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Pete Silva: He was hired as the chief public defender in 1981 and held that post until 1987, when he left to join a private law firm. In 1996, he again took the helm of the Public Defender's Office. Public defenders have the job of "helping people who have no one else to turn to for help," he says