Lester indigent, really? | TheUnion.com

Lester indigent, really?

With so much whining about the cost to Nevada County with respect to the court case against Philip Lester, et al, of Gold Country Lenders, I would like to know by what process the defendants' financial reports to the court are verified.

Surely the DA's office does not just take the word of every individual who claims to be indigent in order to qualify for a public defender. If Mr. Lester and his spouse are each receiving Social Security benefits, even if they have no other income, how can they be considered indigent? With their respective occupations, in my opinion, they would each be receiving maximum benefits regardless of the age benefits began. The IRS as well as the state of California consider Social Security benefits as income for purposes of taxation. Shouldn't Nevada County do the same before assuming the cost of a public defender?

Did someone just overlook this little detail, or is the public anger being guided in the wrong direction?

Phyllis Shippen

Penn Valley

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