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Board of Supervisors appoints Thomas Sone as Public Defender

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed interim Public Defender Thomas Sone to serve as the county’s new Public Defender.

Public Defender Thomas Sone

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Tom’s credentials, experience, and dedication on our team,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman.

Sone has served as interim Public Defender since December and previously served as Assistant Public Defender. He joined the Public Defender’s Office in 2001 after briefly working for a private law firm in Los Angeles. Sone began with the County as a Deputy Public Defender I and worked his way up to the position of Lead Deputy Public Defender V before being named Chief Deputy Public Defender in 2013 and Assistant Public Defender in 2018.

Along the way, Sone litigated serious and complex felony cases, trained and mentored newer attorneys, assigned cases, participated in community programs, and collaborated with various agencies to develop programs that better deliver services to our community.

“The Public Defender’s Office and this county hold a very special place in my heart,” Sone said. “For the past 20 years within the department, I’ve grown not just professionally but also as a person. Both the leadership of this department as well as this county have shaped who I’ve become. I am humbled and honored by the appointment.”

Sone is the county’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander Public Defender. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego, School of Law and holds two Bachelor’s degrees from Washington State University. He is also a graduate of the San Bernardino County Management and Leadership Academy.

The Public Defender provides legal representation to criminal or civil commitment defendants who cannot afford to hire an attorney. The office represents adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanor or felony crimes, and persons facing involuntary civil commitment for mental disorders or commitment under the Sexually Violent Predator statute.

In addition to attorneys, the San Bernardino County Public Defender employs investigators to fully investigate cases handled by the department. The Department also has a staff of social workers and support staff to provide the best representation for clients.

Using a holistic approach, the Public Defender seeks to increase client opportunities for achieving self-sufficiency. In addition to providing legal defense, the office also seeks to arrange client access to social service programs and assistance with receiving alcohol and drug rehabilitation services and counseling for mental health issues.

5 thoughts on "Board of Supervisors appoints Thomas Sone as Public Defender"

  1. Des Cruz says:

    To whom May concern,
    I need advice on what to look for and expect in a public defender,to know they are for you and not against us. I fee they need to look over passed in reports and find all good things for the false accusations that are being said .
    Please need your help.

  2. Linda Magruder says:

    I previously owned cabin in Big Bear, and it was recorded.

    My husband, Eric Zufall, and I are now divorced. The Tax Collector of the County of San Bernardino let
    them know that my ex-husbank is the owner of the properties pursuant to my divorce. So they should mail any and all documents to him.

    They need to update their records. I have no responsible for those properties.

    You can reach my Ex husband, Eric Zufall at this address:

    P.O. Box 6848
    PMB 143
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

    Thank you for your help

    1. Hi Linda, we will pass this on to the Tax Collector’s Office, but you should contact them as well at

  3. Leon vazquez, says:

    MY daughter has child who needs 24 7 care and I need a Form 58, so I can transfer my second home to her so she can have a place to live, after gone to the next world. I told the county recorder has the form but i can`t fined their address,

    1. Hello Leon, here is the address to the Recorder’s Office: San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk
      222 West Hospitality Lane, San Bernardino, CA 92415 and here is their website:

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