Maine’s lead public defender for the state’s commission on indigent legal services has resigned, roughly one month after taking the position.

Attorney Seth Levy was among five lawyers hired in December as Maine’s first public defenders. The commission’s executive director, Justin Andrus, said Levy resigned last Friday, but declined to comment on the reason. He said responsibilities will be shared among staff until a new lead defender is hired.

“They remain enthused,” Andrus said. “We remain enthused. We think it’s terrific we have this opportunity, and it’s going very, very well from a client services perspective despite challenges.”

Maine has a dearth of attorneys willing and able to represent low-income clients facing criminal charges. Gov. Janet Mills’ proposed budget includes funding to hire 10 additional public defenders.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.