Hillsborough commissioners to talk hiring a new attorney
Hillsborough County commissioners are scheduled to talk today about how they want to go about hiring a new county attorney to replace Renee Lee, who they dismissed last year. Acting County Attorney Don Odom is slated to retire this spring. Commission Chairman Ken Hagan says it's time to start looking for someone to lead the office after that. Hagan said he mainly wants to open the topic to discussion. But he said he will share his thoughts on how the board should proceed. He said he wants to hire an executive search firm, to keep the search arms-length, preventing people from saying the hiring process was set up to favor any candidate. That should also make it go quicker than, say, having commissioners appoint a committee to oversee the search. He would like to see the head-hunter narrow the field to five or so finalists for commissioners to interview. Hagan said he thinks the search should be state-wide only, which likely will spawn some discussion from other commissioners liable to argue for a national search. Hagan's logic: There are too many facets of the law relevant to the county attorney's duties that are unique to Florida and Hillsborough County, from land-use to open records. It's a right-to-work state, he notes, and the county has home rule thanks to its charter.