What we do

Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender is known for high-quality representation and an efficient organizational structure which provides effective assistance of counsel in a cost-conscious manner.

Our system is comprised of 21 regional trial offices, a centralized appellate office that handles appeals from every jurisdiction in the state, as well as a centralized state administrative office. The system currently employs 889 FTE of which 535 are attorneys. For fiscal year 2020-2021, the Office’s operating budget is approximately 108 million dollars, which will support an estimated 195,000 cases and proceedings carried this year by our regional trial and appellate offices.

The Public Defender’s Senior Management Team (SMT) consists of:

  • Megan A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender
  • Karen N. Taylor, First Assistant State Public Defender
  • Lucienne Ohanian, Chief Deputy Public Defender
  • Karen S. Porter, Chief Financial Officer
  • Kyle Hughes, Chief Information Officer
  • Zachary Brown, Chief Deputy Public Defender
  • Stephen Ettinger, Chief Financial Officer
  • Joyce Akhahenda, Chief Deputy Public Defender

Additional State Office senior staff include:

  • Joseph Archambault, Chief Trial Deputy
  • Jennifer Ahnstedt, Training Director
  • Stephanie Seibold, Training Director
  • Laurie Kepros, Director of Sexual Litigation
  • Teresa Villalobos, Director of Criminal Investigation
  • Maureen Cain, Director of Legislative Policy and External Communications
  • James Karbach, Legislative Policy, and External Communications

Additionally there are Office Heads and Office Managers in each of the regional and appellate offices. View Public Defender Offices here.