WESTMINSTER — Carroll's newest public defender knew she wanted to be an attorney when she was 10.
Or at least that's what Barbara Kreinar's father tells her.
"I don't know if that's true or not, but as long as I can remember I always wanted to be an attorney," Kreinar said.
Kreinar, who declined to reveal her age, has been an attorney since she passed the bar in 1983. She joined the Carroll Public Defender's Office as managing attorney Nov. 18.
A Sykesville resident since last September, Kreinar comes to the Carroll office from the Howard County Public Defender's Office, where she worked for about 18 months. Previously, sheworked as a public defender in Baltimore.
Her boss, District Public Defender Carol Hanson, said she knew Kreinar wanted to work in Carroll since she began her job in the Howard office.
"Barbara is a very experienced trial attorney," Hanson said. "Since she moved to Carroll County, her intention was to work in an office where she could be active in the local bar and the local court system."
The Carrolloffice had been without an official managing attorney since June 1990 when J. Robert Johnson left to work full time in his private law firm.
Johnson, and former assistant public defender Michael S. Levin, were the senior members of the Carroll office.
They left becauseof a state policy that prohibited public defenders from maintaining private civil law practices.
Since then, Hanson has been overseeing the operations of the Howard and Carroll offices, which are both in District 10.
Hanson said the position of senior attorney or managing attorney was not filled for more than a year because of "fiscal constraints."
"All of the attorneys and staff in Carroll did a great job of making sure everything was done the way it was supposed to,"she said. "But it was always our desire to have a managing attorney."
Carroll's new managing attorney is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and the University of Pittsburgh Law School.
After Kreinar and her husband, Edward, moved to Maryland in 1983, shebegan volunteering in the appellate division of the Baltimore City Public Defender's Office.
The volunteer work turned into a job, andKreinar spent 18 months each in the District Court misdemeanor and felony divisions. She then spent about 18 months in the Circuit Court felony division.
Kreinar said she wanted to start out working in Baltimore to get trial experience, but decided to move out to the Howard County office because she wanted to work where she lived.
Kreinar's arrival at the Carroll office also marks the beginning of more cooperation between the Howard and Carroll offices, according to Hanson.
She said attorneys from each of the offices will work together on cases. Hanson and Carroll Assistant Public Defender Ed Barry are the defense team for a murder case in Howard County.
Carroll Assistant Public Defender Brian Green is working with Howard Public Defender Rick Bernhardt on the defense for Charles Albert Rhodes Jr., a Hampstead man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife's lover.