Mon09012014

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County clarifies terms for county attorney

The King George Board of Supervisors welcomed Jeff Gore to his first meeting as interim county attorney earlier this month on Oct. 2. Gore and his firm, Hefty & Wiley, P.C. of Richmond are filling the vacancy in the position due to the resignation of Matt Britton, effective on Sept. 30.


According to the employment agreement, Gore is actually serving as the lead attorney and primary contact, and in most cases he will attend regular board meetings.
However, the agreement is with the law firm, and not Gore as an individual. The agreement indicates that his entire firm will assist in providing legal services for a three-month term, until the end of the calendar year for $8,000 per month.
Part of the fee is also going toward efforts by the law firm to assist in the search for a new full-time county attorney. If someone is not hired to fill that position by the end of December, the agreement stipulates that it can be extended for another three months, but at a re-negotiated rate of pay that may be higher.
The agreement discloses that the law firm represents the Rappahannock Regional Jail Authority along with the Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Commission, with King George being a member of both. The agreement from the firm states that it does not anticipate any problems resulting from its representation of the county and the other two entities, but formally stated those representations as potential conflicts of interest. By signing onto the agreement, the county agreed to waive the potential conflicts and affirm that it does not object.
The agreement goes on to state that should any actual conflict arise, in either party’s opinion, the firm would step aside and not involve itself, or end representation of the county should it become necessary.
Gore and his firm have also been associated with the county over the last several years, including as attorney for the Economic Development Authority, as well as assisting with legal tasks for the Wireless Authority.
The county attorney’s duties include attendance at regular meetings of the Board of Supervisors, keeping the board informed of changes in state law affecting the county, development of ordinances and ordinance amendments, bringing in and coordinating the work of specialized outside counsel hired to represent the county, and communicating and consulting the board on various legal matters.
The $8,000 per month covers everything and the firm will not charge any additional fees for phone calls, travel time, copies, postage or the like.
Gore joined the Hefty & Wiley law firm in 2007. The firm serves as general counsel to cities, counties, and towns across the state and is experienced in advising its clients on a wide range of legal issues.
Gore previously served as legal counsel to several committees of the Virginia General Assembly, including both Senate and House committees relating to issues important to localities.
He previously worked for the Virginia Division of Legislative Services where he staffed the Virginia Commission on Growth & Economic Development, and the state’s Disability Commission.
Gore earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia, B.A. in 1994, and his law degree from George Mason University School of Law, in 1999.

Phyllis Cook

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