Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard could hire a firm instead of new law director

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Hilliard might revert to using a law firm to serve as legal counsel for the city.

Mayor Don Schonhardt said Nov. 20 that several law firms have contacted him expressing interest in providing legal services to the city.

Law and Safety Director Pam Fox announced Nov. 12 she accepted the position of law director for Worthington. Her last day with Hilliard is Dec. 28.

Schonhardt said Fox advised him she was seeking the job in Worthington, where she had served as an assistant law director from 1993 to 2004. Fox, 55, also is a Worthington resident.

Prior to Fox's appointment in 2004, the city of Hilliard employed law firms for legal representation, the most recent of which was Rich Crites and Wesp, Fox said. In such a scenario, the law firm usually attempts to make the same attorney available to the city, but that is not guaranteed.

For now, Schonhardt said, he is focused on finalizing the city's operating budget for 2013 and that it is a "distinct possibility" that Assistant Law Director Tracy Bradford might serve as interim law director at the start of 2013.

"(Bradford) has all the qualification necessary to serve as law director," said Schonhardt, adding that no individuals as of yet had indicated an interest in succeeding Fox.

Schonhardt said he will serve as safety director for the remainder of his term, ending Dec. 31, 2015.

The titles of law director and safety director are separate in the city charter, but the same individual has historically filled both positions for Hilliard.

The city charter authorizes the mayor to act as a department director; something Schonhardt said he is comfortable with because Hilliard Police Chief Francis regularly meets with department directors.

 

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