EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 12, 2013

Search for city solicitor is delayed

(Continued)

“I know (Campagnone) said she wanted to start fresh, but I thought what we had was fresh,” said Atkinson. “There was no reason to take it off the agenda.”

The solicitor hiring process stalled April 1 following a series of controversies and has yet to pick up again. That night, a motion to appoint finalist Richard D’Agostino to a two-year term as solicitor was defeated 5 to 4.

In May, the council voted to hire private municipal law firm Kopelman and Paige to assume the duties of solicitor. Firm representatives and Mayor Stephen Zanni finalized a service contract last week.

McQuillan retained his job as Methuen’s top lawyer until June 30, though he worked his last day May 31. His departure ended months of controversy that began Jan. 7, when councilors voted against reappointing him to a two-year term.

After Wednesday’s meeting, Fountain told a reporter he will reform the solicitor search committee once he is contacted by councilors who are interested in serving on the body. Earlier this week, Fountain said he would prefer to give Kopelman and Paige a chance before hiring a new solicitor.

“My personal opinion is the firm is in there right now,” said Fountain. “Let the firm come in, see how they operate and see if there’s a savings for the city.”

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