Upper Arlington still collecting, interviewing city attorney candidates

NATE ELLIS
nellis@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Upper Arlington City Council continues to establish a pool of candidates and interview them for its city attorney post, but no finalists have been identified.

The city opened its search for a new city attorney May 4 and set a June 8 application deadline.

Although the deadline has passed, council President Kip Greenhill said, the application process remains open as city officials seek qualified candidates.

An undisclosed number of candidates have been interviewed by council members in private executive sessions, but Greenhill said no official finalists for the position have been identified and the city declined to name those who have been interviewed.

“It’s an ongoing process,” Greenhill said. “The application deadline is open until we fill (the position). I’m hoping we can fill the post about the first or second week of August. We’d like the person to start by the end of August.”

Emma Speight, community-affairs director for Upper Arlington, said the city doesn’t know how many people formally have applied or expressed interest in the position because the consultant firm, Ralph Andersen & Associates, is managing the applications and had only made council members aware of “viable prospective candidates.”

Ralph Andersen & Associates has been given a $32,250 contract for services related to the search, according to Speight.

In response to a public-records request from ThisWeek, Andersen & Associates provided a list of 20 applicants:

• Douglas Adkins, most recently city manager at Middletown (through December 2019)

• Jason Allison, county attorney and chief legal officer for Cecil County, Elkton, Maryland

• Jesse Armstrong, assistant city attorney, Upper Arlington

• Keith Blosser, managing director, human resources and operations, County Commissioners Association of Ohio (through February 2020)

• David Boylan, judicial clerk for U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

• Jared Brankamp, attorney at Bankamp Law, Columbus

• Daniel Cogley, city law director and prosecutor’s office, Lancaster

• Jaime Colon-Velez, attorney, The Higgins Firm in Nashville, Tennessee

• Michael Dillard, counsel, Thompson Hine LLP, Columbus

• Bradley Frick, attorney, Bradley Frick and Associates, Columbus

• Vaseem Hadi, attorney, co-author of the “Ohio Personal LItigation Manual” for LexisNexis/Reed Elsevier Inc.

• Ashley Hegedus, senior counsel, Beam Dental, Columbus

• Brian Honen, Ohio senior assistant attorney general, Executive Agencies Section

• Paul Janis, law director, Streetsboro, (through February 2019)

• Matthew Oyster, general counsel and director of licensing and investigations, Ohio Casino Control Commission

• Matthew Roth, assistant city attorney, Gahanna

• Jagdeep Sangha, attorney/research consultant, LexisNexis, Dayton

• Ryan Shafer, associate attorney, Joslyn Law Firm, Columbus

• Darren Shulman, city attorney, Delaware

• Jason Small, attorney (sole practitioner) in Youngstown

Upper Arlington is seeking a new city attorney because Jeanine Hummer, who has served as city attorney for 18 years and worked for the city for a total of 31, will retire Aug. 31.

“Given the tenure of the current city attorney, we were hoping to obtain applicants with a depth of experience,” said Heather Renschler, president and chief executive officer of Ralph Andersen & Associates. “We have received interest from a variety of individuals, some with varied experience levels.”

Hummer’s latest annual base salary is $152,124. According to the Upper Arlington Finance Department, the city also will spend $36,345 this year to provide employee benefits to Hummer, but that is not money she takes home as part of her salary.

Council will determine the next city attorney’s salary.

The final compensation package will be competitive with the region and will depend on the qualifications, experience and overall career history of the successful candidate, Speight said.

Although interviews and other discussions related to the city attorney hire have been held in private session, council will announce its choice and will vote on the hire during a public meeting, once a candidate has been selected.

“We are working through the process and having good conversations with qualified professionals,” council Vice President Brendan King said. “I am pleased by the level of interest in the position, and from the initial conversations we have held to date with prospective candidates, I am confident that the search process will successfully attract a top tier of candidates with an appropriate depth of experience, and who could each be a great fit for our organization and the community.”

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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