City and county leaders are dealing separately with shake ups among their legal counselors.
The County Council is in the market for a new attorney; the city of Salisbury hired a new attorney Monday night.
Wicomico County on Friday distributed a job listing for a new lawyer to advise the council on a part-time basis. Robert B. Taylor recently resigned from the post, though the County Council has neither announced it nor officially confirmed his exit.
Taylor has been advising the council -- and charging an hourly rate for services -- since the council amended the County Charter in 2016 to give itself the ability to secure legal counseling from someone other than the County Executive-appointed County Attorney.
Meanwhile in the city, Mark Tilghman submitted an official letter of resignation as City Attorney on March 5. Tilghman had held the post for the past nine years.
Council President Jack Heath, City Administrator Julia Glanz and Assistant Administrator Andy Kitzrow conducted interviews with three local law firms during the week of March 8 and concluded the law firm of Cockey, Brennan & Maloney should be selected.
The council formally selected the law firm to serve the city in a unanimous vote Monday.
The Salisbury firm’s representation for the city will be led by attorneys Laura Hay, Ashley Bosche, Heather Konyar and Michael Sullivan, according to the agenda documents.
Tilghman’s appointment in January 2012 was controversial at the time and his hiring became the subject of a rejected ethics complaint.
A partner with Seidel, Baker & Tilghman in Downtown Salisbury, he succeeded Paul Wilber -- who now serves as Wicomico County Attorney -- as the city’s lawyer.
Tilghman participated in the Zoom online meeting. Each of the council members thanked him for his years of service and wished him well.
“I appreciate everything you’ve done,” Councilwoman April Jackson told him. “You’ll never be forgotten.”
Said Council Vice President Muir Boda: “Sometimes it’s time to move on, to make a change.”
Cockey, Brennan & Maloney will match Seidel, Baker & Tilghman’s hourly rate of $152.50, according to the meeting documents. Tilghman will remain available to assist in the transition of legal services as needed.
In the County Council’s job posting for its new hire, the job is defined as serving in a “part time, as needed basis.” The job posting’s closing date is listed as April 5.
“The attorney selected will be compensated upon submission of an itemized statement of hours worked at the attorney’s stated incremental, hourly billable rate,” the listing states.
The listing stresses that the “attorney selected will report directly to the County Council of Wicomico County and the selection of the attorney will be made solely by the County Council.”
A request submitted Friday for Taylor’s hourly rate received no reply. The most-recently accessible budget information shows Taylor was paid $22,042 in 2018 and $17,596 in 2019.