County needs to clarify attorney’s role

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners showed that the county needs to more specifically define the role and compensation of its county attorney.

At that meeting, three commissioners voted to terminate the position of County Attorney Brown Moseley, and instead use an attorney on a contracted basis. Commissioner Russell Smith, who called for the original motion, stated that Moseley was being paid too much for his services.

The vote failed by a 3-3 tie, but it does reveal some flaws in the county’s current arrangement with Moseley. First, there is no specific written contract between Decatur County and Moseley. He is currently paid on a $3,000-per-month retainer (60 hours), and when that retainer time is used up, he is then paid a $100-per-hour fee for general matters and $125-per-hour for litigation.

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However, because there is no physical written contract, there is some question over what Moseley should and should not be paid for. It seems like drafting a contract and specifically spelling out those duties would have alleviated some of the bad feelings and confusion that resulted from Tuesday’s meeting.