More three dozen people gather at the Aenon Baptist Church in Rochester on Saturday to talk about the process to select the next head of the Monroe County Public Defenders Office. Some community leaders and Democratic elected officials are say County Republicans are politicizing the process. “They want political patronage we do not,” State Assemblyman David Gantt said. Community leaders are calling for a neutral selection process. “What we are interested in is of course a positive response from the Mr. Minarik and others in authority over there to restore the kind of trust an respect that the community has in the present model that Ed Nowak and his competent staff has used in the community for the poor,” Pastor Franklin Florence said. “The selection is the very same process as it was 30 years ago,” Monroe County Republican Party Chairman Steve Minarik said. Minarik says he has nothing to do with the selection process, but says things have changed since now retired public defender Ed Nowak was appointed 30 years ago. Back then some community groups were allowed to participate in the selection process. “Politics has changed in 30 years and so they did not invite those groups in to be part but they did invite the bar association,” Minarik said. Minarik agrees the office should continue the tradition Nowak began but hes calling on Democrats to stop playing politics with the process. “I’m dismissing this partisan politics because I don’t know if there’s any partisan ship going on here from the Republican side,” Minarik said. Gantt disagrees. “We think they ought to go back to the process that produced Ed Nowak. We don’t want to return to a system that pleads young people down the river,” said Gantt.