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Council appoints Evans as city attorney

| September 23, 2005 12:00 AM

The Libby City Council on Monday appointed Charles Evans as city attorney.

Evans replaces Scott Spencer, who resigned the position at the end of May and left the area.

Evans has been serving as prosecutor in the city court for the past year and a half. His bid to take on full city attorney's duties, including attending city council meetings to provide advice to the council, was $1,600 per month. That equals the $1,000 per month he had been receiving as prosecutor plus the $600 per month Spencer had been receiving, Mayor Tony Berget noted. Before Evans assumed prosecutorial duties, Spencer had served in that capacity in addition to advising the city council and received $1,600 per month, Berget said.

Evans was one of three attorneys who applied for the position. The other applicants were Mark Fennessy of Libby, who served as city attorney before Spencer and is currently city attorney for Troy, and Ted Hess-Homeier of Missoula.

While Fennessy is experienced, his bid of $2,000 per month without serving as prosecutor would have driven the city's cost to $3,000 per month, Berget said. Hess-Homeier, who serves as city attorney for Thompson Falls, is also experienced and submitted proposals for both a flat fee and hourly rates but would not be able to attend many council meetings, Berget said.

"Most of the council people wanted an attorney at our council meetings," he said.

Since Spencer left, the city has not been entirely without legal representation, Berget said. The city has consulted with Spencer on various issues and has also obtained legal assistance from attorneys associated with the Montana Municipal Insurance Authority and the Montana League of Cities and Towns, he said.