City Council hires Sears and Briggs

By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

The Ely City Council voted to hire attorney Richard Sears to handle civil and adminsrative duties of the City Attorney’s office and hired Kevin Briggs to handle the criminal prosecution side of the City Attorney’s office during a special meeting Tuesday evening.

Sears was the lone applicant for civil and adminstrative duties and was hired with a unanimous vote. Briggs was hired on a three-to-two vote with Councilmen Maty Westland and Dale Derbidge voting against his hire. Councilman Sam Hanson abstained from voting because he said he is good friends with the attornies involved. Mayor Jon Hickman made the deciding vote, stating that Briggs’ tenure with the city as a big reason for his vote for Briggs over the other propsoal.

Briggs was hired over a joint proposal from attornies Angie Gianoli, Scott Husbands and Mike Wheable.

Councilman Derbidge said he felt the three-attorney proposal would be an asset going forward. Councilman Westland did not give a reason for his vote against hiring Briggs.

Briggs was looking to focus on prosecuting crimes because of another opportunity, which would take up his time in the afternoons and evenings. Briggs said he would guarantee his fee would not change for three years to make it easier for the City to plan its budget.

“I don’t know there’s a whole lot that I can say about myself because you know me,” Briggs said. “I’ve been prosecuting crimes for the Cit yof Ely now for over 10 years. I’m certain no one has more prosecutorial experience with the city crimes. I hope some loyalty would be considered or would at least be a factor in your decision here.”

Briggs also said him remaining as the city’s criminial prosecutor means the City of Ely could have continuity, have no potential conflicts to work out and that “I have been, in my opinion, very loyal to the city.”

Under the Gianoli-Husbands’ proposal, Angie Gianoli and Mike Wheable would do the majority of the criminal prosecution while Husbands would work on balancing workloads, etc.

The City Council also voted to approve Mayor Hickman’s appointments of Jennifer Rogan as City Clerk/Treasurer and Ron Jenkins as Public Works Director. Jenkins held the position of interim Public Works Director prior to his appointment.

The City of Ely had been without a city clerk since the council voted to remove Jim Alworth earlier this year.

The City of Ely advertised the position, but no candidates were brought in to be interviewed. Mayor Hickman said while there were many qualified candidates, Rogan showed that she could handle the responsibilities of both jobs going forward.

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