[§52D-8]  Police officers; counsel for.  Whenever a police officer is prosecuted for a crime or sued in a civil action for acts done in the performance of the officer's duty as a police officer, the police officer shall be represented and defended:

     (1)  In criminal proceedings by an attorney to be employed and paid by the county in which the officer is serving; and

     (2)  In civil cases by the corporation counsel or county attorney of the county in which the police officer is serving. [L 1989, c 136, pt of §2]


Case Notes


  An attorney "employed and paid by the county" for the benefit of a police officer, to defend the officer in a criminal case pursuant to this section and in related civil cases, in which the county has asserted claims adverse to the officer, is not per se, by virtue of such employment and payment, deemed ineffective counsel.  95 H. 9, 18 P.3d 871.

  Section provides officers with a constitutionally protected property interest--the right to legal representation for acting within the scope of their duty; due process thus entitles an officer to a contested case hearing under chapter 91 before the officer can be deprived of this interest.  89 H. 221 (App.), 971 P.2d 310.