PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, October 11, 2016

County Board of Supervisors Appoints Public Defender

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has appointed Tracy M. Macuga, Esq., as the new County Public Defender. Macuga will assume the duties from Interim Public Defender Kenneth Clayman. Mr. Clayman has served as Interim Public Defender since Raimundo J. Montes De Oca left the Public Defender’s Office following his appointment to the Superior Court bench in November 2015 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
“The Board unanimously voted to appoint Tracy as the County’s next Public Defender,” said Peter Adam, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Tracy is a proven and effective leader and manager. I have no doubt that she is well prepared and able to handle difficult and challenging situations and cases.”

“I am extremely honored to have been entrusted by the Board of Supervisors to lead the Public Defender’s Office and join the Santa Barbara county family,” said Macuga. “It continues to be the privilege of my life to represent individuals with very few resources facing criminal prosecution and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the tireless advocates who serve and protect our clients by vigorous and excellent representation.”

Macuga has more than 24 years of experience in criminal defense law, having served in the Office of the Public Defender in Riverside and San Diego counties as well as in private practice. Most recently, she was the Assistant Public Defender of Riverside County where she was responsible for all aspects of operations of the Southwest Division including joint oversight of the Complex Litigation Unit (death penalty and sex crimes); Writs and Appeals; and a countywide office-training program including interns, externs and post-bars.

From 1992 to 2008, Macuga was a litigation attorney representing clients accused of committing serious and violent felonies. Over the course of her career, Macuga tried more than 100 complex felony matters, including special circumstance homicides, through to verdict. Macuga is a graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego and received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago.

Chair Adam added, “I would also like to thank Kenneth Clayman for serving as the Interim Public Defender. His leadership has guided the office through changes in the justice system and department leadership, and set a foundation for Tracy to be successful out of the gate.”
The Office of the Public Defender exists to provide legal services to those persons who qualify for public assistance. As the incoming Public Defender, Macuga will oversee a staff of about 70 lawyers, investigators and administrative support staff. She will be completing implementation of a new case management system; leading distinct offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara; ensuring succession planning; and collaborating with other partners of the justice system to better integrate services. Macuga is expected to begin on November 7.
For information about the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office, go to

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