To defend our clients and to protect their statutory and constitutional rights, by providing zealous, effective, and ethical representation.


The Office of the Portage County Public Defender is a county office created by statute to provide legal representation to indigent adults and juveniles who are charged with the commission of a criminal offense for an act that is a violation of a state statute or local ordinance for which the penalty or any possible adjudication includes the potential loss of liberty.

The Public Defender's is managed by a Public Defender/Director appointed by the Portage County Public Defender Commission with staff of nine (9) attorneys, an investigator, an office manager and one (1) legal assistant.

In 2020, the Public Defender's Office provided representation at the felony, misdemeanor, juvenile and domestic relations level in approximately 3,700 cases.


To be eligible for representation by the Portage County Public Defender office all applicants must be financially screened and found to meet the State Public Defender eligibility guidelines.

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
John P. Laczko Director 330-297-3665