News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

James Ferrari

Public Defender Changes Jobs; Gozigian, Ferrari Oversee Office

Public Defender Changes Jobs;

Gozigian, Ferrari Oversee Office

COOPERSTOWN – Beginning Jan. 1, Otsego County Public Defender Bruce Maxson has stepped aside.  He is still working for the county, but is now representing families in Family Court instead of criminal court.

Until the public defender’s position is filled, attorneys Gar Gozigian and James Ferrari are overseeing the office, the county Board of Representatives was advised when it met yesterday.

Judge Denies Underwood Request For Change Of Counsel

Judge Denies Underwood

Request For New Attorney

Joshua P. Underwood is led into Otsego County Court this morning, where a scheduled felony hearing was closed, pending the Grand Jury’s decision on whether or not to indict. (Ian Austin/


Judge Lucy P. Bernier denied Underwood’s request for change of counsel.

ONEONTA – Judge Lucy P. Bernier denied Joshua Underwood’s request for a change of counsel during his appearance in Oneonta City Court this morning.

Underwood, who had been arrested and charged with murder in the New Year’s Day death of Mark J. Morrison, 52, had written a letter to Judge Bernier, dated Jan. 8, to request the change, saying his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender James Ferrari, spoke to the press after he asked him not to.

“Mr. Ferrari is an experienced counsel,” said Bernier. “I see no basis to this claim, and am denying this request.”

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