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CORTLAND Council OKs choice for city law director



Published: Tue, June 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The mayor will decide what to do with the lawsuit she filed.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

CORTLAND -- It's taken almost a year, but the city finally has a new law director.

Council voted unanimously Monday to hire Atty. Patrick Wilson of Warren.

He replaces Atty. Robert Platt of Cortland, who resigned last July.

"I'm very pleased and excited," Wilson said. "I've known Mayor Melissa Long and several council members for a number of years, and I am really looking forward to working with everyone."

Wilson, who works with the Warren law firm of Harrington, Hoppe and Mitchell, was sworn in moments after council approved the ordinance to hire him.

"I'm ecstatic," Long said. "It took a long time for one of my appointments to pass, but it finally happened, and I couldn't be happier. Patrick is an excellent person and an excellent attorney. I think this is a good move for the city."

Wilson will be paid $1,200 for 30 hours monthly.

Long said she'll decide by Wednesday if she will dismiss a lawsuit she filed.

Background: Long sued council in February in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to force lawmakers to approve one of her appointments for law director. The case is pending.

Under the city's charter, the mayor appoints the law director, but council must approve the choice.

The mayor had asked council to approve five previous choices for law director, but each was rejected.

In September, council voted to retain the law firm of Johnson & amp; Angelo of Cleveland for legal services. Lawmakers rejected an ordinance Monday to retain the law firm for a monthly fee of $3,000.

Several members said the cost was too high.

"There is no reason to pay an out-of-town firm that much money," Long said. "I would have vetoed that ordinance if it had passed."

Council did approve the second of three readings of an ordinance to pay the firm $15,000 for other work it has done for the city.

Councilwoman Deidre Petrosky noted the original ordinance hired the firm to work about 20 to 30 hours a month, but it averaged 56.5 hours per month over a six-month period.




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