Hoff leaving attorney post for Town of Cloverdale

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

For the second year in a row, the town of Cloverdale is searching for a new attorney.

Current town attorney Scott Hoff informed the Cloverdale Town Council in November that he would be stepping down at the end of the year.

"I'm just too busy," Hoff told the BannerGraphic Wednesday.

Hoff is also legal council for the Putnam County Commissioners and for the Putnam county Planning and Zoning boards.

On Wednesday, he said he wanted to have more time for his own practice in addition to keeping the other two positions.

"I'm trying to pare it down a bit and focus a little more on my practice," Hoff said. "This keeps you pretty busy."

Hoff said Wednesday that the town was aware he might stay only for one year.

"They've known this was a possibility," he said.

Hoff had represented Cloverdale for nearly four months a few years ago as well. Hoff said his last meeting with the council is Dec. 12, the board's regular monthly meeting.

The council has scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m., Dec. 28, to begin the interview process for a new town attorney. The council will also approve rates for its new wastewater treatment facility at that meeting.

Cloverdale entered 2006 searching for a new town attorney as well. Michael Van Treese informed the council in November 2005 that he would be stepping down after representing the town for nearly 20 months. His contract expired Dec. 31, 2005.

At that meeting, then-council vice president Judy Whitaker expressed concern regarding a letter she received in her town hall mailbox from then-council member and current council president Don Sublett. The letter stated Sublett's desire to retain Hoff as town attorney.

Whitaker said she was unaware the town was looking for a new attorney at the time and found the letter "absolutely distasteful."

During that meeting, Sublett said he had asked Hoff if he would represent the town and in a letter from Hoff to Sublett, dated Oct. 13, 2005, Hoff said he would commit to represent the town, beginning Jan. 1, 2006, at a retainer fee of $25,000.

In the letter Sublett wrote to the other council members, he explained the fee would save the town $11,000 per year.

Sublett could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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