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CORTLAND 7th try to hire new law director



Published: Sat, June 16, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Council will consider Long's most recent choice for law director Monday.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

CORTLAND -- For the seventh time in a year, Mayor Melissa Long is bringing forth legislation to hire a city law director.

A feud between Long and city council began after former law director Rob Platt resigned last July.

Lawmakers have shot down six of Long's attempts to replace Platt, but she says she hopes to have enough support this time to fill the position.

On Monday, council will consider legislation to appoint Atty. Patrick K. Wilson to the position on an as-needed basis. He works for the firm of Harrington, Hoppe & amp; Mitchell in Warren.

Council member Gerald Bayus Jr. said Friday he was unaware of the legislation Long submitted to hire Wilson, whom he called an excellent attorney.

He explained that council suggested eight months ago that Long appoint Wilson to the post, but that she "wouldn't go along with that."

Attorneys rejected: Council has rejected Long's attempts twice to hire Atty. James Franks. Other attorneys rejected by council were Daniel Letson, Daniel Keating, Marc Dann and Ronald Marks.

In September, council hired the Cleveland firm of Johnson & amp; Angelo to represent the city's legal matters.

From September to May, the city has paid the firm about $40,000, which Long said "is more than this little city can afford."

Platt had been law director for 15 years, making $7,500 a year, Long said, adding "he only did it as a courtesy for us."

Because Cortland is a charter city, Long said, she has appointing authority in the matter.

Lawsuit: She said she filed a lawsuit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court in May against council for not allowing her that authority. The lawsuit is pending.

"There is a faction on council that feels [Johnson & amp; Angelo] is the only law firm in America," she added.

Councilwoman Deidre Petrosky said she will support Long's legislation and noted the charter says Long has authority to hire a law director with a confirmation by the majority of council.

Petrosky said Long had a pool of candidates from which to choose and explained the mayor never shared candidates' r & eacute;sum & eacute;s with council.

She maintains that Long has tried to make the appointment starting with the attorneys who had the least experience.




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