The Knox County Public Defender’s office will have a new advocate in the courthouse by the end of this month, however, he’s no stranger to town.
David Barber will replace outgoing public defender Gavin Robinson. Barber has been practicing mineral law in Ohio for the past two years, but he’s a Galesburg native and 2003 graduate of Galesburg High School.
Following law school, he made his way to the Knox County State’s Attorney’s office and served under John Pepmeyer.
“It was great,” Barber says. “It was my first experience out of law school, so, I was kind of given an opportunity to get some practical experience, as well as mentorship.”
Barber will now work under Chief Public Defender Dave Hansen, he says he’s excited for that opportunity as well. When asked why he wanted to return to his native community, Barber says it was the “right move at the right time.”
“The old saying as always is ‘people make a place,”‘ Barber says. “I’ve always known that Galesburg is a special place and a special community, but I think stepping out and having been removed from it for a period of two years, it kind of reinforced that message in my mind.”
Barber also comes from a long line of local attorney’s. His father, Richard Barber, grandfather Jack Hanlon and uncle John Hanlon have all given legal representation in Galesburg.