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CARA LANE CAPE: My name is Cara Lane Cape and today I will be interviewing Ernie Lewis here at the Department of Public Advocacy in Frankfort Kentucky. It is August 9, 2012.This interview with Mr. Lewis is in regards to the history of the Department, as well as, his involvement and experiences with the agency. When did you come to the Public Defender's Office and why did you choose this office?

ERNIE LEWIS: I moved to Kentucky, I was a Washington University Law student, and my then wife was admitted to the University of Kentucky Medical School. So, Washington U allowed me to transfer to, not transfer but be a visiting student at UK for my third year. I wanted to be a legal services lawyer. I had decided long before that that I wanted to be a poverty lawyer and what that meant to me 1:00was civil law. There wasn't a legal services office in Lexington at the time. So I started here (Frankfort) as a law clerk in my third year of UK, in October of 1976. I worked as a law clerk for Bill Ayer and Ernesto Scorsone, and Dave Norat. I did Rule of Criminal Procedure 11.42 motions and habeas corpuses and then during the summer of 1977, I interviewed with Jack Farley for a permanent position. During the summer, after graduating from law school I was Ed Monahan's law clerk and Bill Radigan's law clerk. An interview by the way, with Jack Farley, essentially meant that you sat in his office for about an hour and a half, and he talked. But after I listened to him for an hour and a half, he 2:00hired me. So I started. I was sworn in the Bar in October or November of 1977. I decided to switch from civil legal services over to public defense primarily because there wasn't a civil legal services office in Central Kentucky. I was tied there because my wife was a medical student and also because I really started liking it, doing Post-Conviction initially and then I was hired as an appellate lawyer in 1977.

CAPE: Appellate work and Post-Conviction was primary responsibilities before you became the Public Advocate, or were there others?

LEWIS: What I did is from 1977 until 1980, I was an appellate lawyer. DPA was primarily an appellate office. It had a very small Post-Conviction Branch. There '78, '79, P&A was established, but it was mostly an appellate office. So I was 3:00an appellate attorney from '77 to really, I think, '79 or '80. Along about '79 or '80, the Public Advocate Jack Farley started something called the Local Assistance Branch. Ed Monahan was the director of the Local Assistance Branch. What the Local Assistance Branch did was to really oversee all of the counties. There were five of us I believe. So the state was divided up between the five of us. We oversaw, each of us, some twenty to twenty-three or four counties. We were supposed to get to know that county. My memory is we had ad districts, Area Development Districts that we were in charge of. I was in charge of the 4:00Bluegrass and the far Western. I got two ads. I believe Ed was in charge of Northern Kentucky, then there were three other people that did that. The Local Assistance Branch not only did oversight of the systems that were in place in the 120 counties and there were assigned counsel systems until 1980. We also started education. We worked on the death penalty. We began to do death penalty training, created a Death Penalty Task Force. I mean that was the area of the Department where there was an awful lot ferment, an awful lot of creativity. I did that from 1980 till 1983. At some point in there I became the Director of the Local Assistance Branch that was renamed the Trial Services Branch, and Ed 5:00became Director of Training; don't remember the year where you were named that. So starting in 1983, my wife had graduated from medical school, finished her residency and we moved to Richmond. Along about the same time the Madison County Bar Association decided they no longer wanted the system that was in place there. So then the new Public Advocate Paul Isaacs, decided to open an office in Richmond. So in 1983, early '84, I opened the Richmond Public Defender's Office. I was by myself. We had an office in the local library. I went to interviews for a secretary and hired a women named Debbie Garrison, who was at the Department 6:00of Criminal Justice training at the time. For a while it was me and her. I remember for probably two months, well for about a month, we didn't have an office so I carried all the case files in the back of my car and then we got an office and we didn't have any furniture, so Debbie sat on the floor and answered the phone and I sat on the floor and did what I did. I went around to every lawyer in Madison County and talked to them. The deal was I was going to do all the felonies; I was going to get a group of lawyers to do the misdemeanors. So that's how we started the Richmond Office. From there, that was 1983, I ran the Richmond Office from 1983 until 1996. I was also a Regional Manager. We started a regional manager program after the Pumpkin Creek Lodge revolution in about 7:001986. That stayed in place until about 1993 or so, and I was the Regional Manager of the Central Kentucky Region. In 1992 or 3, Allison Connelly, the Public Advocate abolished the Regional Manager system and began to manager the trial system in a different way. She had a trial director and a contract lawyer director. I then just ran the Richmond Office. Then for about nine months in I believe it was 1994, I became the Trial Division Director for her, but left, resigned when I didn't believe she was committing to converting to a complete 8:00full-time system. I saw the system that she was developing in a different way than she did. So I went back until '96 to just run the Richmond Office. Then in '96 I became the Public Advocate in October and was appointed three times. The first 1996 was Paul Patton, 2000 was Paul Patton, Governor, and then in 2004 Ernie Fletcher was the Governor and he appointed me to a third term and then I retired the last day of August in 2008.

CAPE: So you mentioned the Richmond Office, can you tell us a little bit more as far as going out and meeting with the attorneys or difficulties you had?

LEWIS: We got a lot of support from the Bar, particularly a law firm run by 9:00Charlie Coy, who had been a former President of the Bar. Larry Greathouse, who had been the General Counsel for Wendell Ford, was a local lawyer there at the time. He helped me out a great deal. The primary opposition came from the circuit judge at the time, Jim Chenault. He very clearly did not want an Office there. Prior to that, Judge Chenault had run the public defender system virtually. He had a court administrator by the name of Tom Harkleroad, who was his court administrator but was also the public defender administrator. Sadly, a couple years before that, maybe three or four years, Tom Harkleroad had 10:00appointed Jerry Fish to Harold McQueen's capital case. Actually,Chenault had done that but Tom Harkleroad was the court administrator. Harkleroad eventually became the head pre-trial release officer in that jurisdiction. Chenault appointed a guy named Jerry Fish, who was an alcoholic lawyer in Berea, as the sole lawyer to represent Harold McQueen. Fish was paid $1,000 to represent him. McQueen got death. McQueen was the only involuntary execution we've had in Kentucky. When I got there the 11.42 in McQueen's case was on going. Chenault wrote a scurrilous opinion about DPA, about our lawyers. He kicked Danny Dees 11:00out of town. He didn't have the authority to do that obviously, but Dees was trying to interview jurors at the time, the jurors in the Harold McQueen case and my memory is he brought Dees in and told him to get out, told all the jurors that they didn't have to talk. When I started the office there, one of the first things I did was go to him and try to talk to him. He wouldn't talk to me, so I talked to Carol Kinelski his secretary. I probably tried three or four times to setup an appointment with Judge Chenault.Simply to talk about the system, talk about how we were going to run that system. He was Chief Circuit Judge over Clark and Madison, that's Winchester and Richmond. He would never meet with me and we battled until he retired, we battle from 1983 until he retired in '95, I 12:00believe, right before I became Public Advocate. When he retired, Bill Jennings became the Chief Circuit Judge there and he gave me a book on the U.S. Constitution written by James Michener. In the front of it he said please uphold the Constitution. Bill Jennings, he would never confront Jim Chenault, but I know that he did that because he saw how Chenault had treated me over the years. One memorable part of that was, one time a new law had been passed in Kentucky, the truth and sentencing law, I believe it as '86, '87. It had a very vague portion of the law in there, one that made it very difficult to negotiate. So I asked Chenault to declare the statue unconstitutional and rather just overruling 13:00my motion, he took a Rule 11 against me. Actually, he overruled me, so I took a writ to ask the Court of Appeals to declare it unconstitutional, and that's when he asked the Court of Appeals to Rule 11 me. I asked Ed Monahan to represent me and so, Ed represented me in the Court of Appeals. We lost in the Court of Appeals, in the Kentucky Supreme Court the case was dismissed when a companion case went our way. So not only was my action not frivolous, it was correct and Ed did a marvelous job representing me. So that was one of a whole bunch of challenges in the Richmond Office. Opening that Office, making sure that we had a system that worked, trying establish an office in the middle of a, I would say 14:00sort of the middle of a tyrannical, heretical circuit judge. It prepared me for seeing the judges in New Orleans by the way.

CAPE: Tell us about starting The Advocate and the Trial Practice Institute.

LEWIS: I believe it was about 1978, Jack Farley the Public Advocate wanted to have a newsletter, sort of a law review or newsletter. Jack had asked Vince Aprile to put one out. My memory was they weren't real timely, so eventually he asked me to start putting The Advocate out. I put The Advocate out from about '78 until I think it was about '83. I have distinct memories; I had no training 15:00in journalism or anything else, but distinct memories of cutting and pasting The Advocate at my house. Trying to figure out what was on what page. It was very rudimentary newsletter. I think it was four pages long. We probably did it eight and a half by seventeen and folded it so it was four pages. If you go back to the early editions that are probably what it looks like. It was very simplistic. We used to have cartoons in it. Bill Spicer would draw cartoons. I think you drew a cartoon or two, didn't you?


LEWIS: I think you did. If you look at later editions, Ed Monahan became the editor in '83, I think and made it into a first rate sort of Law Review quality kind of organ. So that was The Advocate and I'm real proud of the fact that it started in '78. We never missed. It went six times a year, I think we started it 16:00at six times a year and I think it is still doing that. The Trial Practice Institute, I went to the National College of Criminal Defense, NCCD that was located in Houston Texas at the time in 1978. It was later changed to the National Criminal Defense College, NCDC after NCCD went bankrupt and it moved from Houston to Macon, and that's where it still is. I started teaching there in 1985 and have taught there ever since. But I went there; it was this incredible experience, two week long Trial Practice Institute. Ed Monahan went there in '79, one year later. Both of us as appellate lawyers basically had seen case 17:00after case after case of trial lawyers who didn't know what they were doing. Because when you read appeals what you're reading is losses, lawyers who lose essentially. I didn't think the quality of trial practice was very high. Ed came back from Houston, I'd been there the previous year and the two of us had a conversation. He and I probably dispute whose idea it was, but coming out of that conversation, I think he started it but, he says otherwise. Coming out of that conversation was the idea to start a Trial Practice Institute. I think our first year was 1982. The reason I think that is my son was born in July of 1982 and I thought our first one of those was at Eastern Kentucky University there in 18:00the same building as the Planetarium and I had my baby in my arms as lot of that was going on. So I believe '82 was the first year. We were there a couple of years and we, I think we were at a hotel in Louisville one year, I believe a Holiday Inn off Hurstbourne Lane and then sometime in the mid-80's we moved to Faubush to the Kentucky Leadership Center which is our present location for that. It's been a week long ever since it began, as I recall, it may not have been a week long the first couple of times, but it soon settled into a week-long format.

MONAHAN: What's the significance of the Institute?

LEWIS: Well, I think, I've said a lot of times that the Institute is the soul of DPA and by that I mean it sort of carries a symbolic, it's a symbolic 19:00representation of what we stand for. Standing for high quality excellent client representation, arming our lawyers with what they need to represent clients in a vigorous and excellent way. Every year that torch has been passed down from one lawyer to another. Every trial lawyer who's come through DPA has gone to that so that's the significance of it.

CAPE: When did serve as Public Advocate and how were you appointed?

LEWIS: I served as Public Advocate from '96 to 2008. I initially, I really wanted to become Public Advocate in '92. I didn't want to become Public Advocate in '96. In '92 I was one of the three names that had been sent up to the Commission along with Vince Aprile and Allison Connelly. I felt ready at that 20:00point; I had lots of ideas in '92. When I didn't get it, I was a little disillusioned and just said I want to stay out of the politics of DPA from now on and sort of was resolute in so doing. But in '96 my memory is that, I think I was playing Hamlet at the time, I didn't know whether I wanted to or not. Bob Ewald called me up during the summer of '96 and asked me to put my name in and I agreed to do that. What had happened previously is that Allison Connelly's four year tenure had ended when she got into a lot of conflict with a newly elected Governor Paul Patton. Apparently Patton had run with a particular position on 21:00gun control, I think he was opposed to it fairly strongly, and I believe Allison Connelly, who had been appointed by Brereton Jones, previous Governor, I believe that's right, I didn't think Wallace Wilkinson appointed her. Governor Patton had not appointed Allison and I later found some documents that said that one of his goals was to change the Public Advocate. Patton intended to make a change in who the Public Advocate was because of the election, but then as soon as he came in he signed a bunch of death warrants and there was a lot of conflict between Allison Connelly and Vince Aprile and the new Public Protection Regulation 22:00Cabinet Secretary Laura Douglas. So, as a result of all that, there was a lot of controversy and a lot of anger and that's the context in which I was appointed.

CAPE: Why did you want to take on the responsibility, especially with all of this going on?

LEWIS: I'd been a Public Defender by then for nineteen years. I felt ready in '92, but I really felt again in '96. To know why I was willing to take it on you would have to go back to the early 80's. One of the neat things the Local Assistance Branch, the Trial Services Branch did was we put together a full-time plan. All of us who were overseeing the 120 counties became convinced, I think 23:00we all did, became convinced that the assigned counsel system was an inferior method for delivering services and became convinced that the full-time method was the superior way to do that. So we came up with a plan. Jack Farley, the Public Advocate at the time was a big believer in the full-time method. It was his vision I think eventually to have a full-time system in all the counties. So he went with that notion and presented it to the legislature, and we helped him present it to the legislature. My memory is I testified before some committee, probably a budget review committee in 1981 or 1982, and it was passed so we got a full-time system. Then the Local Assistance Branch interviewed, we decided where all the offices were going to be. My memory is we hired forty or fifty 24:00lawyers, is that too many? Do you remember?

LEWIS: We hired a whole bunch of lawyers, made job offers. Then John Y. Brown came in as Governor and there was a budget crisis, this was during the Reagan Recession. He decided that we were not going to be allowed to go forward and totally eliminated that full-time method so that no new offices would go forward as of '81 or '82. So you will see when you look at the development of the full-time system in Kentucky from 1981, '82 to 1996, you'd have an office added, usually it was added when the local system just broke-down and there wasn't an alternative. During Paul Isaacs' era he did not really push the full-time 25:00system. Jack Farley believed in it a lot and in my opinion Jack Farley probably lost his job because of that. When I came in in '96, both in '92 and '96, I felt committed to that vision and wanted to advance that vision. So that's why I wanted to take over that responsibility.

CAPE: Speaking of the full-time method of delivering services, how did you see that as being the better model?

LEWIS: I remain convinced that it's the better model. What the full-time, particularly in a situation where you don't have a lot of funding. Well, you can have lots of different of methods. Massachusetts is a good example of a 26:00combination of full-time method with private lawyers. But you have to have a whole lot of money to pay private lawyers to handle the Public Defender system. If you don't have a lot of money, the full-time method, I'm convinced is the most cost efficient method. Primarily because you're full-time lawyers don't have a financial incentive to cut corners. A contract lawyer, which contract attorneys began in 1982, when the assigned counsel system was abolished, in 1982 the contract system came in. Those lawyers were paid a set sum of money to handle all the cases. They had a financial incentive to plead everybody guilty and not spend much time on the case. Our full-time lawyers did not have that financial system. Secondly, they were our employees so we could oversee them, control them for excellence. Then, we could insist on their training if we had bad ones we could get rid of them immediately. With the contract method, you 27:00would have to wait, usually you would have to wait until the end of the year and re-contract. But financially Kentucky could of never afforded to pay enough to attract the best lawyers in the state to do public defender work unless they were our own employees. I think we accomplished that eventually. I think the public defenders in Kentucky, by in large are the best criminal defense lawyers in the state.

CAPE: Which that sounds like it was a big challenge, what other big challenges did you face?

LEWIS: Well immediately, the biggest challenge in Kentucky overall is and has been funding. We were funded at the time at about, when I came in in '96 probably three dollars per capita. I think that's about right. I think our 28:00funding was 16 million dollars, so that was a little over four dollars per capita. We were almost last in the nation in per capita funding. We're a poor state, so we've been able to get the funding level up enough. I came in thinking that I would be able to accomplish a lot substantively in terms of criminal defense reform. I soon discovered that my primary job was going to be raising money. If I step back and look at my twelve years as Public Advocate that's essentially what I did every two years I had a different campaign with a different name. The goal of which was to increase funding and we did that. We increased funding from 16 million up to about 40, 41, 42 when I left. Although they cut it back to about 38 I think in the last General Assembly that I was 29:00Public Advocate. So that's overall the biggest challenge. The second challenge was the Harold McQueen execution. I started in October of '96. A warrant was issued in the Harold McQueen case. Remember Harold McQueen is the same guy who his lawyer was paid a $1,000 in Madison County. McQueen's lawyers who were in our Department began to make some pretty extraordinary and foolish allegations against I and Ed Monahan and Vince Aprile and Rebecca DiLoreto, saying that we had conspired back in the late 70's to deny Harold McQueen his rights. Eventually all of the claims failed. Harold McQueen was executed in early July 30:00of 1997, or late June 1997. Those allegations and the execution about tore the Department apart. So that was my biggest challenge right there. Looking back, it's understandable that it happened because it was our only involuntary execution. We had a Death Penalty Task Force starting in 1976 that had fought for twenty years to keep people off death row. We probably had some hubris in all of that thinking we would never have an execution in Kentucky. Thinking by force of will and intellect, and hard work we would be able to keep the death penalty from ever being implemented. So when that happened fingers started being 31:00pointed. I asked and the Public Advocacy Commission authorized, a former judge to conduct an investigation as to whether we had conspired to have Harold McQueen killed. He didn't find any evidence of that. I didn't feel like I could serve under that kind of allegation. So eventually people were disciplined for make allegations without sufficient investigation. We then established a goal of becoming more professional and more excellent because there was a lot of unprofessionalism during that period of time and out of that the Department grew a great deal, matured a great deal. Became more professional, became more of a 32:00player in the criminal justice system. But it was out of that particular crisis. So that was a second big challenge. Also that summer, a couple weeks after McQueen as executed, the Justice Cabinet came in in July, a couple weeks later and said they were going to defund the Capitol Resource Center. The Capital Resource Center was a federally funded, grant funded group that had been in our Department since I believe 1988, 1989 and they took away all federal funding. So that meant, and we were representing, if not everybody on death row, almost everybody on death row and all of a sudden we didn't have funding to that any longer. So that was a huge challenge. Paul Patton who had signed all those death warrants finally put in to the budget in 1998, funding for Capitol 33:00Post-Conviction. His Cabinet Secretary Laura Douglas and I established a good relationship and she agreed to go to Paul Patton to convince him to restore funding that had been taken away by the federal government, restore funding to us and he did. The Capital Resource Center was replaced by the Capital Post-Conviction Branch. I would say those were our, the biggest challenges. Being Public Advocate is one challenge after another. So it's a little difficult to identify any unique challenge but those were the main ones.

CAPE: So what were your values and visions for the DPA program?

LEWIS: When I became Public Advocate?

CAPE: Yes.

LEWIS: I mean the primary value was one of being client-centered and being 34:00excellent, professional and excellent. It was a value we continue to hold up all the time, during the years that followed. The primary vision was to convert from being a mixed system with 47 counties full-time and 73 as part-time, to all 120 counties being part of a full-time office because that fit into the excellence that we were driving for. At some point we began to express the value as one of being client centered. I don't think that that was one we articulated in 1996, but we soon developed that. Another value that came in at some point was the whole client, and that was probably a value we started expressing maybe 2002 or '03, whereby we were talking about more than just representing the client on one particular charge, but representing him in his sort of whole milieu. If he had a 35:00housing problem or collateral consequences, or heroin addiction, or whatever it was, we wanted to begin to try to address his criminal genic needs as opposed to just the particular charge. I had three goals. Because as a trial lawyer for those thirteen years, I was convinced that we needed to have a full-time system, so that was goal number one. Goal number two was to lower our caseloads. I was convinced that was a number one problem. If we were going to become a full-time system, caseloads were going to be our constant problem. And three was our salaries. When I came in as Public Advocate, our salaries were $21-22,000. As a starting salary that was grossly low and that became a goal.We had that as a third goal.

CAPE: With the workload issues, I guess the realities of them, during your 36:00tenure, how was the workload?

LEWIS: We tackled all three of those problems sort of together, because the full time method meant that caseloads were going to be our primary problems. If we were going to have a full-time system, we also had to have salaries that were decent. So we tackled all three of them simultaneously. I mentioned before that I kind of divided up my tenure into two increments based upon when the General Assembly was going to meet. I would have a theme, sort of a slogan for every two years. And the first one was in 1998, where we talked about Plan 2000. We were attempting to drive more of the full-time system during that particular campaign. The Blue Ribbon Group was 1999, a year after that and we tackled all 37:00three of those issues in The Blue Ribbon Group and made a lot of advances through the report of The Blue Ribbon Group, on all three fronts. In fact the those two campaigns together, '98 and '00, set the stage for completely the full-time system, Blue Ribbon Group got our salaries up. At the time, now it doesn't seem like much but at the time it seemed like a lot. We got our salaries from $21,000 up to $29,000. During Paul Patton's tenure, he developed a method for increasing salaries based upon the cost of living so that by the time he left our salaries were up around $37-38,000, which is about where they are right now. They really haven't advanced since Paul Patton left in 2003. Caseloads, workload remained our biggest problem so that by 2004, when our caseloads were 38:00up around 498 new cases per lawyer per year, the Public Advocacy Commission said we've got to do something about that and that's when the Justice Jeopardized Campaign began. The Justice Jeopardized Campaign was two years long. It consisted for five public meetings. The Public Advocacy Commission would, whoever from the Commission could show up and would hold a public hearing. The hearing began always with a Supreme Court Justice or Court of Appeals Judge introducing it, endorsing it. We would have prosecutors, criminal justice officials, employees coming.We had five meetings in five different parts of the state. Out of that came the Justice Jeopardized Report which was written in about 2005 and presented to the Commission. That report was then presented 39:00Governor Fletcher and we got a nice big boost, in addition to, a Social Worker Pilot Project out of that. But throughout, every time it seemed like we would move ahead on caseloads we would get a boost, we would get caseloads down from 500 down closer to 400 caseloads, we would continue to rise. It was almost a "if you build it, they will come." It's almost, if you have the lawyers, the infrastructure, the courts will appoint lawyers to more and more and more people. One of the realization that I think Ed Monahan had in the early 90's and I had, is that there were literally tens of thousands of people, particularly 40:00misdemeanants, who were not getting lawyers, who were simply being charged with a crime and some of them going to jail, who had no lawyer. What was occurring in our system, particularly prior to the full-time system, was that judges were forcing them to handle the case themselves. Once the full-time system came into place we had directing attorneys whose responsibility was to oversee the system to make sure eligible people were being appointed and that's what drove the problem of increasing caseloads. Does that make sense?

CAPE: Yes. Tell us about the Public Advocacy Commission deciding to have the full-time public defender system.

LEWIS: I actually don't know much about that. I was a trial lawyer at the time. I certainly believed in the full-time system. The full-time method had something 41:00that I supported in the early 80's, something Jack Farley certainly supported. I would have been communicating with some Commission members. I know Bob Carran was somebody who I communicated with. I feel certain I had conversations encouraging them to do that, but how that came about, where there was a resolution to move completely to full-time, I really don't recall. Let me say one other thing though. When I became Public Advocate in '96, the fact that they had done that was the probably the most important thing that I could rely upon for authorization. The reason for that is in '94 there was a Governor's Task Force that did not fully endorse the full-time method. That's one of the reasons I left the job as Trial Division Director, but once I became Public Advocate 42:00that resolution saying let's go to full-time still existed and I had the support of the Commission to do that. So that was a vital part of moving forward on trying to get the full-time system completed.

CAPE: Tell us about the significant structural changes that you made to the Department, other than what we've already discussed.

LEWIS: I established divisions, the four division structure that we have now with a Trial Division, a Post-Trial Division, P&A, and Law Operations. I reinstituted the Regional Manager System that had been abolished by Allison in the early 90's. I brought that back in. I made General Counsel a non-merit General Counsel. I established the Kentucky Innocence Project as part of the Post-Trial Division. I survived moving from the Public Protection Regulation 43:00Cabinet into the Environmental Protection Cabinet, for a brief period of time, and then into the Justice Cabinet, where we entered into a memorandum of agreement guaranteeing our independence. We elevated the Training Director up to leadership, where the role became part of the Leadership Team, which I thought was really important. I think those were the primary structural changes that we made during my eight years.

CAPE: Who were the key players within the criminal justice system when you were the Public Advocate?

LEWIS: Back when I…really there were so many people I would leave people out, but the primary ones, that helped us anyway. Bob Stephens who was long-term, he 44:00was the Attorney General, then he was a Justice of the Supreme Court, long-term Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, became a huge supporter of ours. Eventually became Justice Cabinet Secretary when the Criminal Justice Council was instituted. The Governor's Criminal Justice Response Team was something that Paul Patton started in the summer of 1997. I was not named a part of that initially and I asked the Governor's General Counsel to be made part of that. Dennis Fleming was his name. So I was made along with Dan Goyette a part of the Governor's Criminal Justice Response Team. I got to know a lot of the players during that 12-14 month process. Out of that came House Bill 455, passed in 1998, establishing the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council. For a period of about four or five years that council met repeatedly. The council was large; there 45:00were about 33 members to the Criminal Justice Council. It included jailers, clerks, and all the departments of the Justice Cabinet, legislators, trial judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and so forth. There for a period of about '98 till about 2003, all of the players in the criminal justice system got together monthly and talked about the problems in the criminal justice system. So if you asked who the players were; they were all there during that period of time. Bob Stephens was a major force in the development of the Criminal Justice Council. His executive director was Kim Allen, who's now in Louisville, I believe Public Safety is her role. She was a major player in the council. Joe Lambert followed Bob Stephens as Chief Justice. Joe Lambert along with Jim 46:00Deckard and Jason Nemes, his assistants were tremendously supportive of the growth of Public Advocacy and adequate funding for Public Advocacy. Lambert served on The Blue Ribbon Group. I need to tell this story as part of that. When Allison was not reappointed and I became Public Advocate, Paul Patton asked Bob Stephens to come see him. Paul Patton said to Bob Stephens, we've got to do something about Public Advocacy. Bob told me this as he was dying, some years later. Patton said they get too much money and they're out of control, and 47:00Stephens said, Paul that's ridiculous; they don't get enough money. It was his influence that turned Paul Patton around, because eventually Paul Patton became convinced that we were underfunded, gave us more money in 1998, gave us more money in 2000, and gave us more money in 2002. When the cuts started after the recession of 2000, 2001, we were exempted from those cuts, during that period of time. Patton, in fact, one time announcing at a press conference, asked me to speak, to talk about how difficult the cuts that were taking place, how difficult that was going to be, and the effect it had on the criminal justice system. I go into that detail to show how important Bob Stephens was to the 48:00growth of Public Advocacy. He totally turned around Governor Patton and made Governor Patton a supporter of ours. Then by his leadership in the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council, he allowed us to become a player. The Blue Ribbon Group met in 1999 and issued a report. I presented that report to the Criminal Justice Council. The Criminal Justice Council endorsed it and that report then went to the Governor. I continue to attribute that to our growth in 2000. The Blue Ribbon Group resulted in our getting six million more dollars and most of the rest of the full-time system. In Paul Patton's desk, I was told later by one of his budget analyst, he had the amount it was going to take to complete the full-time system and he put it into his desk and made a commitment to finish the full-time system. Then Paul Patton had an affair and he was shamed. The 49:00recession hit, his power was reduced and that never happened. But he and Bob Stephens, Joe Lambert, the three of them really went a long way toward building our system. Steve Pence, Lieutenant Governor under Fletcher, Cleve Gambill, Governor Fletcher himself were also primary supporters of ours while I was Public Advocate.

MONAHAN: Laura Douglas was Cabinet Secretary at one point and the Governor had a juvenile initiative, what role did she play?

LEWIS: I mentioned Plan 2000. In 1997, I asked Bob Spangenberg to come in and do a report for use. He did a very brief report for us, saying that Plan 2000 50:00was a very responsible way to proceed. Laura Douglas was the Public Protection Regulation Cabinet Secretary when I became Public Advocate. She was Paul Patton's appointed Cabinet Secretary. She recommended that we tie your budget request into a juvenile initiative, that was eventually was called the GaultInitiative. So part of the 1998 budget was tied to increasing the quality of representation in juvenile court. One reason that she said that and one reason we were able to be successful at that, is that there had been an assessment by the American Bar Association and the Children's Law Center in Northern Kentucky, saying that our juvenile representation in Kentucky was terrible and that came out in 1995 or '96, right before I become Public Advocate. It was Laura Douglas' very astute leadership that said to us, tie you 51:00budget request to improving juvenile representation. Thanks of remembering that.

CAPE: So were there any political enemies of the DPA?

LEWIS: I not sure we had enemies and I left out some people on friends and I will go back to them. I would say the primary enemy of DPA over the years, the person who most opposed parody,who most opposed our rule in a wide variety of ways was the Commonwealth's Attorney in Fayette County, Ray Larson. Larson opposed everything we tried to do on the Criminal Justice Council. He went so far as to begin to take picture of people on the Criminal Justice Council, at Criminal Justice Council meetings and posting them on his website, Kentucky 52:00Prosecutors. He declared members of the council, outrage of the month. He has an outrage of the month part of this website. He was very destructive to a decent criminal justice system. In a sense I would say he was our only real enemy. There were other people who were impediments, barriers, certainly present President of the Senate, David Williams, had been a barrier. He and Robert Stivers who was in Leadership also in 2008, when they cut our budget leading to the lawsuit of 2008, they viewed our system in a way differently than I did. I wouldn't call them enemies, they both done criminal defense. I would call Ray Larson an enemy.


Let me see if I've left out any people who were supporters.Certainly our Public Advocacy Commission has been highly supportive from the beginning. We've had trial judges like Judge Paisley, Judge Isaacs, and Judge Phil Patton. We've had legislators who've been supportive like Kathy Stein, Robin Webb, Jeff Hoover, Jim Wayne, Gerald Neal, Jim Lovell, Jesse Crenshaw, and others. We've had Cabinet Secretaries like Laura Douglas, Ron McCloud, Cleve Gambill, and Mike Brown. Law professors including Robert Lawson; Lawson's been one of the most supportive among all Kentuckians. Ben Chandler was a very supportive Attorney General during his time. Then surprisingly during the administration of Ernie Fletcher, his Chief Administrator Stan Cave, his General Counsel, Dave Fleenor, 54:00his Lieutenant Governor, Steve Pence, all of them were really, really supportive. So we didn't have many enemies, we mostly had supporters.

CAPE: You mentioned the Kentucky Innocence Project and you got that put into action, what other program changes, organizational changes did you make? And tell us a little about getting the Kentucky Innocence Project.

LEWIS: Yeah, the primary program and organizational changes would have been saving the Capitol Post-Conviction Branch, after the resource center was closed in '97.Moving to four divisions with a clarified management structure,elevating education, having a leadership team consisting of the education leader, the Deputy Public Advocate, Ed Monahan, our four division directors, having that 55:00entity meet on a weekly basis and set priorities, guide planning, was important. Establishing the value of professionalism and excellence and Ed Monahan was a leader in that. He brought, sort of a task force together to talk about how we could become more professional and excellence. Establishing the independence of P&A, Protection and Advocacy in my view, desired to be independent of DPA, almost completely independent. Similar to the way we were independent within the first the Public Protection Regulation Cabinet and then the Justice Cabinet. The Gault Initiative was big were by we began to elevate people who wanted to do juvenile representation, that was a real important development.Prior to that time, sadly, while I was Directing Attorney of Richmond, we viewed people who did juvenile representation as lessor lawyers. It was sort of baby lawyersand 56:00then they grew up to go to adult court, that changed. A lot of us had our eyes opened and we began to treat people who wanted represent juveniles as a specialty and we wanted them to have specialized training. The Juvenile Post-Disposition Branch was established while I was Public Advocate and it grew. The Blue Ribbon Group we've already talked about. The Justice Jeopardized Campaign we've talked about. The Kentucky Innocence Project was an idea that I that I had after reading an article in The Champion, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers magazine. I took that I'm sure to Ed Monahan, but also to our Post-Trial Division, Rebecca DiLoreto and Marguerite Thomas. I charged 57:00them with the task of developing that. They with others then developed the Kentucky Innocence Project.

MONAHAN: Did you view the Kentucky Innocence Project as a separate entity apart from DPA or as part of the Post-Conviction?

LEWIS: No, I absolutely made it part of the Post-Trial Division. We struggled with the notion of should it be part of the Post-Conviction Branch or a separate branch of the Post-Trial Division. There were some in the Kentucky Innocence Project who thought that it should be separate, should have a separate website, should have its own logo, should really have its independent, should have an independent status and I resisted that. I thought it absolutely needed to be a part of DPA and a part of the Post-Trial Division.

MONAHAN: Would you also talk some about the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers?

LEWIS: The Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was an idea that I 58:00and you (Mr. Monahan), Kevin McNally, Gail Robinson, and Vince Aprile, all had after the 1985 General Assembly, as I recall. There had been a homicide in Jefferson County where two young white men were killed by two young black men. They both received the death penalty and there was a lot of outrage that developed over those two homicides. Major structural changes in the law occurred in, I guess it was '86 General Assembly. KRS 439.3401 and 532.055, were radically changed so that a new procedure began occurring after a trial. Where there would be a separate hearing where additional evidence could be brought in 59:00about parole eligibility and that sort of thing. A bunch of us realized that the defense was not being heard in the General Assembly. So, we started meeting, a bunch of public defenders. My memory is the leaders of it were me and you (Mr. Monahan) and Gail, and to some extent Kevin, met with Bill Johnson and Charlie Coy and Frank Haddad, Jr. and Burl McCoy and some other private lawyers.

MONAHAN: Mike Maloney.

LEWIS: Mike Maloney, and organized a board and from that group the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, that now has over 300 criminal defense lawyers. We have a lobbyist, we've got an executive director, and we're recognized as one of the important policy players in criminal justice matters, and that grew out of DPA.


MONAHAN: Why is KADCL important to public defenders?

LEWIS: Well, it's real important to public defenders because DPA is inside state government. Sometimes the Public Advocate cannot speak to a particular issue because it may have ramifications for the agency because it's a part of State government. Usually KADCL and DPA's interest coincide. So KADCL can speak in a way that DPA cannot on controversial matters.

CAPE: You mentioned Gail and Kevin, is that Gail Robinson and Kevin McNally?

LEWIS: Gail Robinson and Kevin McNally. Who by the way was part of the original Local Assistance Branch. It is amazing how many people were in the Local Assistance Branch that later became leaders in DPA. It really was a group of young, creative, energetic lawyers who wanted to change the world, that were in 61:00DPA in the late 70s.

CAPE: You mentioned leadership and excellence, what key characteristics of public defender leadership would you say there are?

LEWIS: I got about eight or ten that I really think are important. I mean I think a public defender leader has to be client-centered. I think that is sort of the theory of the case, for a good public defender leader. Everything has to be about the client. I think a second trait is that they have to see the world from different perspectives. The four frames is sort of a way to look at that, where you look at the world from a political, a symbolic, a human resources, and 62:00a structural perspective, so that you avoid your own bias. I think a good public defender leader has to recognize the difference between a technical problem and an adaptive problem, know the difference. Another characteristic of an effective public defender leader is the ability to communicate, and that is communicate externally and internally. It's one of their primary roles. I think an effective public defender leader has to have a vision, has to know where they're going as opposed to just being a manager of whatever exists. They have to know where they want to go. They need be collaborative.They need to work with lots and lots and lots of people including people they use not to work with, Corrections, the police, prosecutors. I think they have to be change and reform minded. Again 63:00their not managers, they're leaders. There are lots of problems that need to be solved and that means you need to change things. I think they need to be persistent because you're constantly pushing a rock up a hill that keeps rolling backwards. You need to be honest, thick-skinned. They need to be humble. They need to be politically savvy because the landscape is constantly changing and there are not great deals of natural supporters. It's not like representing Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. It's a very difficult job to hold. Then I think they need to be very strategic, effective at developing strategy and seeing the long-term.

CAPE: Tell us about you starting the Leadership Education and the Legislative Update.

LEWIS: I soon began to think that one of the primary roles of the Public 64:00Advocate was developing what I called, the "long bench," that's a baseball metaphor, but I meant that we need people who can step up into leadership. Particularly if we were going to have an effective trial division, with an effective full-time system, we needed people who were going to be able to leader at the local level. Too often in the past, we elevated the best trial lawyer to become the leader of a local office, rather than somebody who was actually a leader, somebody who had all those characteristics that I talked about. So if we were going to do that, we needed to develop leadership. I've been interested in leadership for a long, long time, even before I became a lawyer. In DPA Ed Monahan has been, sort of, the leader of developing leadership. In the early 65:0090s, Ed began to I think train on Stephen Covey and TQM, things like that. So out of that and I think Ed and I both decided that we needed to start holding regular leadership training. We developed a concept of bringing our leaders in periodically. We called it the Quarterly Leadership for some reason, because we only met three times a year usually. Starting probably '98, '99, we started having Quarterly Leaderships and we did that from then until now. We also began to periodically train on leadership over several days, where we would bring people in from outside to talk about leadership. What was the other part of that question?

CAPE: And the Legislative Update?


LEWIS: As we already talked about The Advocate was our primary method for communicating, but when I became Public Advocate; The Advocate was published six times a year, it was primarily a substantive if criminal justice magazine. Even though Ed Monahan had used it over the years to drive public policy in a particular way, I thought we needed a legislative update that would have a smaller group of people to whom we were communicating, primarily legislators, our own public defenders, judges, people who could affect the legislature. So we began to develop the Legislative Update as a method of carrying our message to the legislature. Sometimes we would issue two during a legislative session because we needed to develop that particular messaging. It was our primary way 67:00of messaging to the legislature.

CAPE: Tell us about working with the Kentucky Bar Association.

LEWIS: Sometime during probably the early 2000s, it became apparent to me that we needed to develop a relationship with the Kentucky Bar Association. We began to have the KBA come to our seminar. We created an award called the Professionalism and Excellence Award, and we would have the incoming president of the Kentucky Bar Association present to give that award.Select the person and give that award to the person was being awarded. We began to try to have our public defender seminar coincide with the Kentucky Bar Association seminar. So that our people would be able to not only be educated but would also see the 68:00importance of being a part of the larger bar association. The American Bar Association has been a leader in the anti-death penalty efforts, and specifically issued a call for a moratorium back in the mid-90s. We followed that up with calling for our own moratorium, I believe 1997. So again that was a sort of a Bar effort. When we organized The Blue Ribbon Group, the president of the Bar Association was a part of The Blue Ribbon Group. I think that Ed Monahan in his four years has taken collaboration with the Kentucky Bar Association to new heights. We certainly started working with the Bar Association. Ed has perfected that particularly advocacy method.


CAPE: Tell us about the call for the moratorium on the death penalty and you creating the death penalty training manual.

LEWIS: One of the primary characteristics of the Department has been its opposition to the death penalty. The DPA was organized in 1972, '73, right after Furman v. Georgia, when we had no death penalty. Greg v. Georgia, Roberts, and the other cases came in 1976, establishing the constitutionality of the death penalty. In a special session, December 22nd of 1976, the Kentucky General Assembly met, re-established the Kentucky Death Penalty. The Death Penalty Task Force was established then. Ed Monahan was its chair. There were a number of us 70:00who worked, in addition to our appellate cases, on the effort to oppose the death penalty. Some of the things that The Death Penalty Task Force did was we organized the first Death Penalty Training. My memory is it was in Shakertown and I think Morris Dees and Courtney Mullins, and others helped us train there. We also had John Carroll, we had Dennis Balske. We developed a Death Penalty Manual. If you go back and look at the old Death Penalty Manual from I think '78, '79, the one with the black and white death penalty electric chair on the front of is. It's really an excellent manual. If you remember the kind of trial system we had at the time, we didn't have full-time lawyers in the trial arena, except in Louisville and Lexington, and Boyd County. So we needed to educate a 71:00group of lawyers who didn't try death penalty cases. We used the manual and we used the death penalty training for the primary ways that we would educate our trial attorneys on how to fight the death penalty. We talked some about the Local Assistance Branch. The Local Assistance Branch also began to try death penalty cases. I for example tried my first case in 1978 was a capital case out in Madisonville, handled four or five capital cases out in Western Kentucky when I was a baby lawyer. Ed Monahan handled several death cases as part of the Local Assistance Branch. We all did and we were learning about not only how to try death penalty cases, but also how to train on it, how to educate on it. Out of that, in the mid-80s grew the Capital Trial Branch, but it wasn't called that at 72:00the time. Remember what it was called?

MONAHAN: Major Litigation Section.

LEWIS: Major Litigation Section and that was during Paul Isaacs' time. That represented really a theory, a method for how to approach the death penalty. We realized that if you could beat the death penalty at the trial level that was the way to go. So the emphasis was on identifying the worst cases and getting the resources to that bad case. That's held true if you look at the size of our death penalty, you'll see that we've kept people off death row over the years. We don't have a big death row. We've only executed one person involuntarily. So when I became Public Advocate, I agreed with what we had been doing over time and internally.If you remember Allison Connelly was not reappointed partly 73:00because of her opposition to the death warrants that Paul Patton had signed. I needed to communicate publically, both internally and externally that we remained committed to our death penalty effort and the ABA had just issued its call for a moratorium, so I issued a call for a moratorium, which told my people that I was still against the death penalty, that we were going to continue to battle the death penalty. It also told everybody in the criminal justice system that we were independent. We were going to have our own independent voice on the death penalty.

CAPE: I see the importance there. What was the importance of bringing back the Regional Manager? I think that's something you said Public Advocate Connelly got rid of, what was the importance of that?

LEWIS: I was part of the original group of directing attorneys in 1986 who met 74:00at the Pumpkin Creek Lodge in Lake Cumberland. We felt and there were probably 13, 14 of us at the time, we felt like we were unsupervised. We were sort of out there by ourselves. We didn't really know anything that was on. So we asked Paul Isaacs to have a supervisor, somebody who could be at meetings here in Frankfort and advocate for our interest. So Paul Isaacs agreed with that, instituted the Regional Managers system. So when Allison eliminated it, that was one of the things that I wanted to bring back in when I became Public Advocate. I believe in supervision. I believe that directing attorneys needed oversight. They needed to have somebody guide them, to act as a middle person between the Public Advocate and leadership in Frankfort, and delivering trial services at the local 75:00level. So that's why I brought that in and why I think it's a good model. We borrowed it by the way. We didn't really borrow it in '86, but when I brought it back in, I looked at Minnesota's system and they have ten regions, with a manager who is sort of one of the co-managers of the Criminal Justice System in the counties there. I used that as a same model for our Regional Manager System.

CAPE: Another thing you had touched on, you mentioned the Juvenile Post-Disposition Branch, what was the importance of that branch being created and what hand did you have in that?

LEWIS: During Allison Connelly's tenure, a lawsuit had been filed by the Children's Law Center. Out of that came a consent decree that established the constitutional right to access to the courts by juveniles in Kentucky. Some money was given from the Justice Cabinet to DPA as part of that consent decree. 76:00So it was really Allison Connelly and Rebecca DiLoreto, who birthed if you will, what became the Juvenile Post-Disposition Branch. When I reorganized the Department I brought that entity into sort of a formal place in our organization with regularized funding. It parlayed nicely then into our emphasis on development of juvenile laws and expertise.So we had juvenile law experts at the trial level, but we also had juvenile law experts in the Juvenile Post-Disposition Branch. They ended up writing the Juvenile Law Manual. They ended up being the primary teachers regarding juvenile law. Gail Robinson, Tim Arnold, Rebecca DiLoreto, and others really held up juvenile laws as a specialty 77:00and built that. They began to conduct juvenile summits throughout the Commonwealth on a regular basis so that new attorneys that were coming into the Department would be trained on juvenile law. So that's played a real important role in the development of juvenile law in our Department. Similar to Faubush, it's sort of the soul of juvenile law, JPDB has been.

CAPE: With all these changes, as far as keeping accurate records on all the clients, was there any changes made with that, or how did you keep those?

LEWIS: I think over the years we've realized increasing the importance of objective data. Tying our workload into something that was objective and that 78:00certainly began before me. We had a guy in the Department named Bill Curtis, who used to advocate for and analyze our caseload data. We have national standards, National Advisory Commission Standards of how many case you can do in a particular year. Ed Monahan has written on caseloads. The American Council of Chief Defenders that I chair and Ed is chair of has established a statement on workloads and caseloads. The American Bar Association had issued a Formal Opinion, 06-441 on caseloads. You cannot be effective at advocating for increased funding using caseload data, unless you have good caseload data and unless it's accurate. If your caseload data is inaccurate or your caseload data is not through then you're going to falter when you try to make an objective case, you're just going to be making an emotional case for why you need more 79:00funding. So I am one of a number of people and Ed continues to use this till this day, advocating for solid accurate caseload data. That measures how many cases we have and what our workload is.

CAPE: And speaking of national organizations, what different national organization or national public defender organizations were you actually involved in during tenure?

LEWIS: Well we've talked already about KACDL, KACDL is a part of the larger organization of NACDL. We also have consistently been a part of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. The National Legal Aid and Defender Association had something in the late 90s called the National Defender Leadership Institute, the NDLI, where they trained that generation of public defenders in collaboration with the Vera Institute. That has helped a whole 80:00bunch of us learn how to be public defender leaders. Out of NLADA grew the Chief Defender Roundtable, out the Chief Defender Roundtable grew the American Council on Chief Defenders. I was chair of that in 2006 and 2007. Ed is now chair of that. I've also been part the National Criminal Defense College, which is an out-growth of NACDL. The Southern Public Defender Training Center which I got on their board right as I was leaving being Public Advocate.

MONAHAN: Some public advocates have been very involved nationally in public defender organizations, others have not, why did you see it so important to be involved so much nationally?

LEWIS: I think it's vital that the Public Advocate of Kentucky be involved nationally primarily for his or her own growth. If you see the world from the 81:00Kentucky perspective your vision is going to be limited. I learned so much going to NLADA Conferences and other conferences where I was exposed to what other defenders were doing. If you look at the full-time method, if you look at use of caseload data, use of workloads, the emphasis on training, the emphasis on the whole client, all of that came from looking at the world from different perspectives. If you just look at your own parochial problems you're not going to be able to move the agency forward. So I'm a huge believer in the Kentucky Public Advocate being a part of that. I will also say that in 1972 when our statute was written, it was one of the most progressive statutes in the nation. We have a good representation as a leading public defender organization. That 82:00representation is at its peak right now and part of the reason is our involvement in national organizations.

CAPE: What were some of the memorable cases that took place during your term?

LEWIS: Most of the KRS Chapter 31 cases had been litigated by the time I became Public Advocate, certainly the McQueen case was a memorable case and we've talked about that. There were a number of developments on the death penalty during my tenure. You think of the elimination of the death penalty for the person with mental with retardation, Atkins, think of the elimination of the death penalty for juveniles, and that's the Simmons case, the raising of the standard of representation that would be Rompilla and Wiggins and cases like 83:00that. In terms of our own Department among the memorable cases would be Baze v. Reese, the lethal injection case that we got cert granted on and Padilla v. Kentucky, which was right at the end of my tenure, I think, which established in a very, I think a very significant case, the obligation of counsel to advise clients about immigration status and in a large way to advise about collateral consequences to a guilty plea.

MONAHAN: You had under your term, there were clemency cases by Governor Patton and Governor Fletcher.

LEWIS: There were two clemencies that were granted is I recall. The first of them was Kevin Stanford, who had if you go back to the last 80s, the Kevin 84:00Stanford case was a case that said you could get the death penalty if you were under the age of 18. Then after Simmons came down, Kevin Stanford, maybe before Simmons came down, Kevin Stanford was granted clemency by Governor Patton because he was a juvenile at the time he was convicted and sentenced to death, and also because he was a changed man. Then Slaughter, I guess was the second clemency. There was a man named Slaughter, who was actually not named Slaughter. The trial lawyer didn't know his name at all, his name is Leonard. Governor Fletcher and his General Counsel was appalledby the quality of representation that occurred in that case where the lawyer didn't even know his client's name 85:00and allowed him to go under the name of Slaughter. So clemency was granted there. There are an appalling number of people on Kentucky's Death Row whose private lawyers mostly have been disbarred or disciplined and Slaughter was certainly one of those.

MONAHAN: Were your involved in any of the computations related to…

LEWIS: The domestic violence. When I became Public Advocate, Marguerite Thomas had worked along with Allison Connelly and others extensively to get women who had been involved in domestic violence situations, to get them eligible for 86:00parole. When Paul Patton left office, everybody associated with that case thought that he was going to grant clemency to a lot of those women. Nobody ever really knew what happened, but he did not by enlarge grant clemency and some of those women were granted relief later. But I don't remember the details of it.

CAPE: In July 2008, Dan Goyette and you became Plaintiffs in a case, can you tell us a little bit about that?

LEWIS: Right, in 2008, what had been happening repeatedly when we got more money was that our caseloads would go up and they would continue to be excessive. In 2006, the American Bar Association had issued an opinion, formal opinion 06-441 saying that it was unethical for public defenders to handle excessive caseloads, that public defender supervisors, public defender leaders 87:00had to ensure that their lawyers were providing ethical representation. In 2008, then I proposed a budget that would have reduced our caseloads down to a level that I thought would restore an ethical level. The Governor's budget did not do that. So that as the 2008 General Assembly developed it, I began to communicate that unless they did something we were going to continue to have an unethical caseload and that we were going to have to take steps to follow 06-441. The budget that came out of the House was consistent with the Governor's budget. So I communicated in the Senate and in the Court of Justice that if we didn't get a 88:00better budget we were not going to be able to represent everybody. I began to start saying that a budget document purchases a certain level of legal representation and we couldn't do more than they paid for. As part of that budget, we were taking over the Lexington Public Defender Office. We had recently been charged with establishing a state public defender's office in Lexington, replacing the old Fayette County Legal Aid. Part of the budget process was that we needed more money to make that office a fully functioning office. Once the House budget got to the Senate, David Williams and Robert 89:00Stivers decided that we were not being truthful about our needs in Lexington and they decided to cut our budget by several million dollars. It was clear to me at that time that if they cut our budget by seven million dollars, that the Rubicon had been crossed over, we would no longer be able to sustain full representation and that we were going to have to do something. So we informed them that if they maintained that budget that we would start restricting services, we informed the Court of Justice likewise. They went ahead with our budget cut, I believe our cut was down to something like 38 or 39 million dollars. So we announced a service restriction plan that was going to be effective July 1st. We began to meet as an agency. Our directing attorneys began to meet on how we were going to implement that plan. We decided that we would no longer represent certain 90:00classes of cases. Those were Class B misdemeanors, family court, probation and parole revocations, and other classes of people who were not typically going to prison. As part of that, we then decided to file an extraordinary action, a lawsuit using some civil lawyers who were representing us pro-bono, to establish the right to turn away certain cases. That was filed in late June. I previously announced my retirement for September of 2008. Between the filing of the lawsuit which was in June of 2008 and my retirement in September, 100% of my time and a lot of the percentage of our leadership team's time was spent on going to court implementing the service restriction plan. Going to hearings were prosecutors 91:00and judges were challenging our right to restrict services. Eventually I retired and when you do the oral history of Ed Monahan you'll have to take it up from there, but eventually I know that an injunction was entered where the service restrict plan had to end. So I handed the torch off to Ed and Ed continued to lead on that lawsuit as of September of 2008.

CAPE: Can you tell us a little bit about Ex ParteFarley?

LEWIS: Well, it's interesting that you end with the lawsuit and I began with Ex Parte Farley, it's sort of the book ends of my life with DPA. I became a lawyer in 1977, November and I was part of the Death Penalty Task Force. The new law, 92:00the new death penalty statue, 532.025 and a couple of statues after that, established as part of constitutionality, to be constitutional we thought this case had to be proportional to other similarly situated cases. So the Supreme Court of Kentucky was charged with the obligation of collecting data on capitol cases. Well, Ed and I were representing Eugene Gall, our Department was representing everybody on death row; it wasn't a very big death row. But we decided that in order to effecting represent our clients in those cases we need access to the data, so we could argue from the data that our clients were 93:00disproportional, that the death penalty against them was arbitrary under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. So we convinced our Public Advocate Jack Farley to file the action in his name. I think initially it was Farley v. John Palmore or the Kentucky Supreme Court, eventually the renamed it Ex Parte Farley. But it was a very contentious case. My memory of that is at the oral argument they had the Kentucky State Police standing by in case there was violence or rioting, or something. I recall John Palmore and Justice Lukowsky being exceptionally rude to Jack Farley, who argued the case. Did we ask Jack 94:00about arguing Ex Parte Farley? I bet we didn't. It would be interesting to have his memories of that. But anyway the case came down; the Kentucky Supreme Court slammed us. I believe I was counsel, Kevin McNally was counsel, I don't know if you (Mr. Monahan) were counsel as well. You probably helped with the pleadings. It was one of our most contentious times but it was also one of our proudest times, where we were standing up for the right of our death role clients to due process of law at the beginning really of our agency.

CAPE: What are you most proud of accomplishing?

LEWIS: One thing or?

CAPE: Whatever you are most proud of, if it's more than one…

LEWIS: Yeah, I'm proud of raising funding. When I began as Public Advocate, our 95:00funding was at 16 million dollars and prosecutors were getting 48 million dollars. So they were getting three times what we were getting. We got it to where we were getting a little over half. We're around 40 million dollars and they were getting around 70 million. So we lower the disparity, I was proud of that. Efforts at lowering caseloads,higher salaries. Probably I'm proudest of our developing the full-time system and completing that in 2005. I think we became a more professional agency. I think we became more client-centered during my time. I'm proud of the physical upgrades in all the full-time offices. We moved out of terrible locations like the courthouse in Bowling Green or a furnace room in Paintsville. We even had a mobile home that we were going to 96:00move into. There was the Stanton Office that we were talking about earlier, was located in a lumber yard, the smell of creosote was everywhere. We've upgraded that considerably during my twelve years. I know Ed Monahan is continuing to upgrade with the 2020 Plan. I think that's real important. I wanted clients, poor people to come into our offices and know that they were being treated like middle class people were being treated. They were at a law firm, they weren't at some public welfare agency being treated like an object, but rather they were somebody worthy of dignity. So I was proud of that. I'm proud of the Lexington Office that came with considerable political capital being used. The Innocence Project, the rewrite of Chapter 31, and Ed by the way was the author of that 97:00rewrite. We only had one involuntary execution; I think that's extraordinary in the Bible belt over all that period of time. I think we became a player at the General Assembly where we were respected on policy matters, criminal justice matters. The elevation of juvenile representation, elevating education, whether its new attorney training, directing attorney training, leadership training, Faubush, The Advocate, I mean we really developed a national reputation for education. Ed was the Training Director for a long period of time, including when I was Public Advocate and he really put Kentucky education on the map. I was proud of surviving during a Republican Administration. I mean I was appointed by a Democratic and then reappointed by a Republican, and surviving 98:00during those times and really developing allies in the Republican Administration from Stan Cave to David Fleenor, and eventually to Ernie Fletcher. Finally developing our independence, where we had a Memorandum of Agreement with the Justice Cabinet, I think was really important. I look back over those twelve years as having real solid accomplishments.

MONAHAN: What's given you so much energy to for public defender work?

LEWIS: It really goes back to the late 60s and I was inspired by John Kennedy, and I was inspired by the War on Poverty. I was Vista Volunteer and saw how poor people live. I saw nascent poverty lawyers before Legal Services Corporation 99:00standing up for poor people in court, standing up for their dignity. If you were in the 60s you either decided to throw a bomb or do something productive, and I decided to do something productive. Once you get into the system, you see all the injustice, so that drives you every day. Every day you get your brains beat out in court that drives you to make it better. If you ever have a client you're convinced is innocence have to go to prison that drives you to make sure it does not happen again. So that is what gave me energy over the years.

MONAHAN: In over three decades, what case that you were the lawyer for the client, stands out?

LEWIS: Two cases really. One I was involved with you and that is in the Eugene Gall case where as baby lawyers we took his appeal. One of the first people 100:00placed on death row and we lost through the first seven stages, and finally won the case in 2000, I think, the Sixth Circuit. He's now off death row, serving a life sentence in Ohio. The second case would be Martin Mendoza Tovar, a capital case I tried in Richmond, where two Clark County farmers were gun down but three migrant works, immigrants from Mexico, three brothers. My client ended up with four years and the offer had been Life without Parole for 25 years, and he got four years on a reckless homicide and that was probably my biggest, best feeling of and individualized accomplishment, and individual client.