State Public Defender

Larry Johnson, Jr., State Public Defender

Governor Kim Reynolds appointed Larry Johnson, Jr. as the Iowa State Public Defender on May 26, 2017.

Prior to his appointment, former Governor Branstad and then-Lt. Governor Reynolds named Johnson as Legal Counsel to the Office of the Governor in 2015.  Johnson served as deputy legal counsel in the Governor's Office for four-and-a half years prior to that appointment.  As counsel, he served on the Iowa Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee as the Governor's Ex Officio Representative.  He also collaborated with the informaiton technology team in the design and development of a web-based application and award-winning website,, that streamlined the regulatory review process.  Prior to the Governor's Office, he practiced in Des Moines primarily in adminstrative law.  While in law school, he interned at the Pottawattamie County Attorney's Office. 

He received his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science in Management from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management. 


Prior State Public Defenders

2014-2017:  Adam Gregg

2014:  Kurt Swaim (Acting)

2011-2014:  Samuel P. Langholz

2009-2011:  Tomás Rodríguez

2008-2009:  Mark C. Smith (Acting)

1999-2007:  Thomas G. Becker

1998-1999:  Mark C. Smith (Acting)

1988-1998:  William L. Wegman