Local attorney makes her bid for Public Defender’s seat

Last month, local attorney and business owner, Anne Marie Gennusa, announced to Historic City News that she will be seeking election for the position of Public Defender of the 7th Judicial Circuit; replacing current Public Defender, James S. “Jim” Purdy, upon his retirement next year.

Purdy has been the elected Public Defender since 2004. He has had a successful legal career beginning in 1978 and has held various positions in private practice, as an assistant state attorney, and culminating his career as the elected Public Defender; a champion for the most vulnerable citizens in St Johns, Volusia, Flagler and Putnam Counties.

“I’ve known Jim Purdy since I worked on his campaign for this office in 2003. I found him to be the best candidate that embodied the work ethic and qualifications required to be an effective advocate for those accused of crimes,” Gennusa told local reporters.  “My extensive experience in managing a successful law firm, along with other business entities, and my representation of individuals charged with alleged crimes for over 25 years, gives me the advantage of being able to step into the office of Public Defender without missing a beat.”

Gennusa, 51, of St. Johns, relocated with her family to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL in 1999. She began her legal career as a criminal defense attorney in Bronx County, NY in 1994. She is admitted to the Florida (1999) and New York (1995) Bars as well as being admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court (2017).

During her 25+ year legal career, Ms. Gennusa has been a public defender, criminal defense attorney, assistant state attorney and private practitioner with a concentration on criminal and family law issues. She has successfully run her law firm since 1999 and has experience in the management of employees and day to day operations of a business. She is also Martindale -Hubbell rated AV-Preeminent, which is the highest possible rating an attorney can receive in both her legal ability and ethical standards. Approximately 10 percent of all attorneys hold this distinction.  Gennusa’s diversified background gives her a well-rounded and balanced perspective of the challenges in running a business and providing effective representation.

“Mr. Purdy’s contributions to our community and his legacy in providing excellent representation to those who lack the financial resources to defend themselves needs to be protected,” said Gennusa in a recent press release.  “I am the most qualified person to fill the void that will be left after his retirement. I have practiced criminal defense law for almost 25 years. I began my career representing those accused of crimes, and I look forward to coming full circle as I finish my career in public service.”

Gennusa also said that the tremendous support received from many individuals across the Seventh Circuit has been truly humbling since she first publicly announced her candidacy on February 19th.


Gennusa received her Juris Doctorate from Temple University School of Law in 1994 and Master Certificates from Villanova University in Government Contracting (2012) and Human Resource Management (2013). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal studies, with a minor in Psychology in 1990. Additionally, she is one of the few individuals to have earned a Certificate in Pet Assisted Therapy and has successfully implemented a therapy program in a multi-special need population.

She has been married over 17 years to Robert “Bob” Lindsey, a retired Sergeant with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office and an Honorably Discharged Army Veteran. She is mom/bonus mom to 5 children (4 are now adults), “Glamma” to Nora and fur mom to Dixie, the Chiweenie and Ali, the rescue Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. When not advocating for individual’s rights, spending time with her family, or traveling to Italy, she enjoys relaxing with a good book in the solitude of her backyard.


Important Dates:  Primary Election: August 25, 2020 / Election Day: November 3, 2020