PHILADELPHIA - Today, Montgomery County Commissioners announced the termination of the county’s top two public defenders, Chief Dean Beer and Deputy Chief Keisha Hudson. Their positions were immediately filled by Carol Sweeney and Greg Nestor, who were named co-chief deputy public defenders.
In response to today’s events, the following quote can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“It’s both disappointing and shocking to learn about the sudden firing of Dean Beer and Keisha Hudson, two tireless champions for reforming the criminal legal system, who put words to action in enacting meaningful changes that sought to reduce mass incarceration in Montgomery County. By filing an amicus brief about the county’s use of cash bail, Mr. Beer and Ms. Hudson helped expose serious issues in the county’s criminal legal system. Less than a month after filing that brief, they have been fired.
“These terminations should alarm Montgomery County residents and all Pennsylvanians who care about reforming our criminal legal system. The ACLU of Pennsylvania calls on the Montgomery County Commissioners to give a full accounting as to how and why this decision was made and whether or not the filing of the amicus brief was a factor in the firing of Mr. Beer and Ms. Hudson.”