City’s public defender retiring after working more than 11,000 cases in 17 years

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Attorney Tom Wagner is retiring from his position as a contract public defender for City and Borough of Juneau. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The numbers from the past 17 years of Tom Wagner’s life are staggering.


Wagner, who is retiring from being a public defender for the city at the end of this month, has handled 11,000 cases since his contract with the city began in 2000.

Many of those cases have included more than one count, Wagner said, meaning that he’s dealt with about 19,000 charges between about 4,000 clients over that time. He usually has between 80 and 100 cases open at once.

He laughed as he sat in his office in a house on Harris Street, listing off the statistics from his 17 years with the city.

“I consider that a life’s work,” Wagner said.

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