Prince Edward To Stick With County Attorney

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, September 18, 2014

PRINCE EDWARD —Upon further review, County supervisors won’t seek additional bids for county attorney services.

“A few months ago, I asked that we not approve the appointment of the county attorney for a year given the fact that we had not went out for competitive bid,” noted Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr. at the September board meeting.

The board agreed with Timmons’ suggestion in June, and extended the contract of James R. Ennis and his deputies for six months and to follow through with a request for proposals. That, Timmons reflected at the September meeting, would give him time to review all of the contract services that the county had including the one for the county attorney.

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“Since that time, I have reviewed the documents to make sure that there…are no escalation clauses that are just continued to go in annual…renewals without…maintaining and managing the cost. And I have satisfied myself that the contracts that are in existence do not have a escalation clause, with the exception of one, and that contract is on…a project basis rather than just on a continued use and we get a price proposal from them prior to that contract being issued,” Timmons said.

Timmons added that he had an issue trying to understand how the County attorney’s office and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office—with the same individuals representing both entities—dealt with conflicts of interest.

“And Jim [Ennis] and I have had several conversations trying to understand that and I am convinced that under the process that he explained to me that the conflict of interest is not an issue here as it deals with anything other than criminal and land items,” Timmons said. “If there’s an issue [that] comes up, Mr. Ennis and his staff will…recuse themself and appoint a special prosecutor for that process.”

The board, following Timmons’ motion, agreed to accept Ennis’ contract through the end of June. By the time the contract will come for renewal next year, he said, the finance committee will have time to review these kind of contracts and make a recommendation on whether or not they will continue with the existing individual or go out for bid.

Supervisors unanimously agreed to renew Ennis’ contract.

Ennis and deputy attorneys Brian Butler, Morgan Greer and Robert Bauer’s terms were set to expire June 30. Ennis, at the board’s June meeting, noted that he hasn’t changed his price in seven years and offered that he was “good with it” if the board wanted to put out a request for proposals and do bids.