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May 21, 2013

NARCOG expects to select new attorney

CULLMAN — Members of the North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) board are expected to select a new attorney for legal representation at their monthly meeting today.

Cullman, Lawrence, and Morgan counties will each bring in  recommendations for review.

In March, the board decided to cut ties with its current representatives, Audrey Dupont and Anthony Joseph of Maynard, Cooper & Gale in Birmingham due to cost. In the past, the law firm has worked with NARCOG on its conflict of interest policy, as well as the organization’s policy and procedure manual. They’ve also dealt with several past issues NARCOG  has had within the past year.

“Dupont charges the organization $300 per hour, while Joseph charges $420 an hour,” interim executive director Stefanie Franklin told board members in March. She added those fees don’t include any type of paralegal NARCOG has paid, which has been upwards of $175 per hour.

“They’re very expensive,” she said. “We’ve paid out a lot of money for legal representation in the past and we don’t need to continue doing that. I just prefer we have someone local.”

In addition at today’s meeting, Franklin is expected to update the board members on the executive director’s search. The process is being handled by Auburn University’s Center of Government Services.

* Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com

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