Herbert A. Putney, the man colleagues say helped change the face of criminal defense in Oregon, is stepping down as the leader of Southern Oregon Public Defender Inc.

Herbert A. Putney, the man colleagues say helped change the face of criminal defense in Oregon, is stepping down as the leader of Southern Oregon Public Defender Inc.

"I'll miss the people, but I've had enough. Everybody has a shelf life," Putney said.

Putney, 68, will receive the Ken Morrow Lifetime Achievement Award on Dec. 3 in recognition of his 25 years at the helm of the organization, which represents indigent defendants in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Doug Engle, 54, will succeed Putney as the administrator of the organization in February.

Engle is a former prosecutor and director of Los Abogados, another consortium of attorneys that has a contract with the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services. He was also one of the first two attorneys Putney hired when Southern Oregon Public Defenders opened its doors.

— Sanne Specht