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October 9, 2013

County hiring extra legal counsel

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County commissioners are planning to hire someone to share the county solicitor’s workload.

Primarily, the attorney, who will work under contract, will act as the county’s legal counsel for its children and youth services.

That person also will handle legal matters for which solicitor Thomas W. Leslie has a conflict because of his private law practice.

Leslie told the commissioners Tuesday he is  recommending Carolyn Flannery for the position. Flannery is an associate attorney in the firm of Balph, Nicolls, Mitsos, Flannery and Clark.

Leslie told the commissioners he had considered various people who are interested in the deputy position, but Flannery has a strong background in children and youth services and will not have any conflicts with any of its cases.

Flannery received her law degree from Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University in 2001. She worked as a summer intern for President Judge Dominick Motto and Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Thomas G. Saylor in Harrisburg.

Flannery also was a law clerk for state Superior Court Judge  Maureen Lally-Green and worked as an assistant district attorney in Montgomery and Lancaster counties, Leslie said.

Assistant district attorney Jonathan Miller previously served a special counsel at a contracted hourly rate until he moved into the district attorney’s office.

A separate position of attorney for Children and Youth Services has been vacant since the contract for attorney Joann Nene expired June 30. Her contract, which paid her $3,025.46 monthly — or $36,305.52 annually — was not renewed.

The new contract position has no amount budgeted, according to county administrator James Gagliano. That money most likely will come from a contingency line item in the budget.

Leslie said Flannery’s pay has not yet been settled and will be decided later this week.

Gagliano said the commissioners will have to vote on the fund transfer and approve the contract.

Tuesday, they were tentatively all in agreement with Flannery’s appointment to the position.

Asked if she will be doing both children and youth services work and county work, Leslie said Flannery would be doing both, but that only one attorney’s contracted position would be filled instead of two.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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