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List of candidates for legal services job narrowed to three

July 06, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The attorney who provides legal counsel to the Berkeley County Commission confirmed Thursday that he is one of three candidates for what could be Berkeley County government's highest paying job - the newly created director of legal services position.

Norwood Bentley III, who has provided legal services to the commission through a contract the county has with Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP, said he did not know who the other candidates were.

Bentley said he believed they also were told Thursday to be available for a second interview next week.

After meeting in executive session Thursday, the commission voted to interview three attorneys on a list provided by Alan J. Davis, the county's human resources director.

"We presented our interview notes today, and the commission narrowed a field of five candidates to three," Davis said.

Earlier this year, the commission determined the person hired as an "in-house" attorney for the county would be paid $90,000 to $147,200. The attorney would provide legal services for the commission, Planning Commission and other legal work outside the scope of Prosecutor Pamela J. Games-Neely's work.

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Of the 14 people who applied for the position, eight of them were from West Virginia, Davis said. Two each were from Virginia and Ohio, and one each was from Maryland and Pennsylvania, Davis said. Nine of the applicants obtained a law degree from West Virginia University, Davis said.

Commissioner Ronald K. Collins conservatively estimated the newly created legal position would save the county about $25,000, and officials could more easily project legal expenses in the future.

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