County aims to change lawyers

Friday, November 19, 2010

Marshall County commissioners are scheduled to vote Monday on whether they will change lawyers.

The commission's Nominating Committee has recommended Lewisburg-based attorney Bill Haywood to succeed County Attorney Ginger Bobo Shofner of Shelbyville.

Commissioners convene at 6 p.m. Monday in the County Courthouse Annex at the corner of First Avenue and Commerce Street on Lewisburg's public square.

"I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment on it," Shofner said when asked about the committee's recommendation. "The commissioners have the proposals and they haven't voted yet."

Haywood "had a couple or three people approach" him, he said.

"One or two were commissioners who asked if I would be interested," Haywood said, adding that he is interested because he's "experienced in governmental law."

Haywood was Lewisburg's city attorney for nearly a decade.

He was succeeded by Steve Broadway of Fayetteville.

Shofner has been Marshall County's attorney "for two years," County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett said Wednesday morning.

The mayor noted advantages and disadvantages to having a county attorney who lives here as contrasted to such legal counsel who lives in another county.

"They're close," he said of those who live here. "Others are not involved in local politics.

"I want them to get whoever does the best job," Liggett said. "I think the prices are close enough so that would not be the criteria."

Haywood said that he's considered having the county as a client during "the last eight weeks," but that at first, he "didn't do anything" with the informal invitation.

"Then I was approached by another commissioner who said I ought to submit an application and a proposal because the contract (for legal services) was running out."

Haywood decided to submit a "proposal of service and pay so there was never any question about my salary or duties," he said.

Documents at the county mayor's office show that commissioners had asked Shofner to adjust her fees downward.

"And that's what I did," Haywood said.

He emphasized, "I don't have anything against Ginger. She's a good attorney. She's aware of county issues and is up to date, but I think the county ought to hire from within the county. Several people have brought that up - that they would like their tax dollars to remain in the county or the city, instead of leaving the county or the city."