DeKalb Chief Public Defender Appointed

, Daily Report


The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council has appointed interim DeKalb County Circuit Public Defender Claudia Saari to lead the office in a permanent capacity.

Saari has been the interim for several years. In addition, she is an instructor for several public defender training programs and was the recipient of the 2009 Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Indigent Defense Award.

Saari earned her law degree from Emory University in 1987 and joined the public defender’s office the same year. She also sits on several State Bar of Georgia panels, including the Board of Governors, the Indigent Defense Committee and the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

Her appointment became official on Dec. 5.

Last month, the council also named a new circuit public defender in Columbus.
Thomas Moffett Flournoy III will replace Robert Wadkins Sr., who retired from the Chattahoochee Circuit Public Defender’s Office in October.

Flournoy earned his law degree from Mercer University in 1998 and started his career working for his father, Thomas “Tim” Flournoy Jr. During that time, the younger Flournoy also worked as a contract defender with the Chattahoochee public defender’s office on conflict cases.

In 2005, Wadkins hired Flournoy to join the office full-time.

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