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Lead Investigator - Public Defender's Department

Public Defender | Caldwell, ID | Full Time

Job Description

Compensation:  $62,930.00 - $89,323.00 annually DOE

Application Period Ends:  1/8/2021 5:00 p.m. MST

General Statement of Duties

Under general direction of the Chief Public Defender, the Investigator conducts a variety of difficult and complex criminal and/or civil investigations, involving the gathering of evidence for the legal representation of clients of the Public Defender’s Department. Supervises and coordinates the activities of all Public Defender investigators, including outside investigators, to ensure adherence with both county and office rules and procedures.  Performs other duties, as assigned.


Classification Summary

The Public Defender Lead Investigator position reports to the Chief Public Defender, or his/her designee, and is subject to rotation of assignments according to business needs. The Public Defender Lead Investigator class is the journey level classification in the Public Defender Investigator series. Incumbents in this class perform criminal and/or civil investigations requiring a broad scope of investigative techniques, independent analysis of information and evidence, and independent action.


Examples of Work (Illustrative Only)

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Criminal Investigations

  • Gathers, analyzes, and preserves evidence concerning crimes; searches crime scenes for evidence and gathers information to be used in the defense of defendants.
  • Interviews, interrogates and obtains statements from witnesses, victims, informants, and defendants; assists attorneys by interviewing clients in custody to gather information and to initiate further investigation.
  • Develops contacts so that information may be obtained regarding the defense of clients; prepares detailed reports of the actions taken, findings, and recommendations regarding assigned investigations.
  • Assists attorneys by researching and studying cases; appears in court to testify regarding the facts and findings of investigations and the nature of evidence obtained.
  • Prepares reports and correspondence regarding assigned investigations; may assist in the training of other investigative personnel.

Civil Investigations

  • Conducts field investigations by making searching inquiries into the circumstances of persons represented in civil cases by the Public Defender’s Department.
  • Interviews clients who are subjects in such legal matters as involuntary conservatorship, guardianship, freedom from custody, child custody, child support, and petition for pardon.
  • Examines historical, medical, and psychiatric records and reports concerning clients; gathers and analyzes evidence.
  • Develops contacts so that information may be obtained regarding the defense of clients; interrogates and obtains statements from witnesses, staff members of social services agencies and psychiatric treatment facilities, and acquaintances of clients.
  • Evaluates the credibility of clients' and witnesses' statements, and recommends to attorney the use of testimony in court; testifies in court regarding investigative findings.
  • Consults with investigators or representatives of opposing counsel concerning legal proceedings; assists attorneys in the research, study, and preparation of cases for court, and recommends alternatives to pending civil actions.
  • Monitors and maintains, prioritizes, and calendars probate cases for court; prepares department's position on probate cases and distributes to appropriate attorneys.
  • Prepares reports and correspondence regarding investigations; may refer clients to social services agencies to obtain immediate living necessities; may assist in the training of other investigative personnel.


Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Reviews disclosure and accompanying requests for investigators from both in-house and contract attorneys.
  • Assigns tasks and oversees progress of all investigations.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • The methods and techniques of investigation, including gathering and preserving evidence.
  • The rules of evidence.
  • Criminal law, including the laws of arrest, search, and seizure and/or the laws, and regulations relating to              juveniles, and/or the laws, regulations, and procedures relating to conservatorship, custody, and child support; the techniques of interviewing and interrogating witnesses and mentally deficient clients.
  • Basic psychological principles;
  • Vehicle use policy and procedures.

Ability to:

  • Gather, assemble, and evaluate facts and evidence.
  • Formulate sound recommendations.
  • Obtain information through interviews and other interrogative techniques.
  • Draw logical conclusions and formulate sound recommendations.
  • Prepare clear, concise, and comprehensive reports.
  • Understand medical and psychiatric terminology.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, members of law enforcement agencies, psychiatric and social services agencies, and the general public.
  • Communicate effectively in written and oral form.


 Acceptable Experience and Training

  • High school diploma or GED equivalency is required; and,
  • Associate’s Degree in administration of justice, criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology, or a related field; and,
  • At least five (5) years of experience in assigned field; or,
  • Any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the knowledge and abilities necessary to perform the work.   


 Special Qualifications 

  • Successfully complete a criminal background investigation;
  • Possess a valid Idaho Driver’s License;
  • Use of County vehicle.


 Essential Physical Abilities

  • Sufficient clarity of speech and hearing or other communication capabilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to discern verbal instructions, communicate effectively,  interview people, and perform telephone and radio communication;
  • Sufficient vision or other powers of observation, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to comprehend written work instructions, and coordinate and conduct detailed investigations;   
  • Sufficient manual dexterity, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to write reports, utilize equipment required for the performance of duties, and operate a vehicle;
  • Sufficient personal mobility, flexibility, stamina, strength, and physical reflexes, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to perform all duties required in an investigative environment.


EOE Statement

Canyon County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Employment decisions related to recruitment and selection are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.