PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
Brenner

BARBARA BRENNER, left, from the firm of Churchwell White, was selected to replace Bill Wright as general counsel for GDPUD. Democrat photo by Michael Raffety

News

New lawyer for GDPUD

By From page A1 | July 15, 2013

Next month the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District will have a new general counsel to replace Bill Wright, who resigned as counsel.

Barbara Brenner from the firm of Churchwell White was the top choice of at least three board members from among five law firms as they each announced their preferences.

Director Kathy Otermat said the board had interviewed “eight well qualified groups of attorneys. My goal is to expand the knowledge base.”

Before the board July 9 were five law firms.

“I chose price — Tim Cary,” said Director Norm Krizl, who favored the $140 per hour price.

“I move to adopt the recommendation of the board and approve Churchwell White,” said Director Ray Griffiths.

“Is it still your intention to have an attorney here all the time at 200 bucks an hour?” asked audience member Ed Grout.

“Because we are in a precarious situation here we will have counsel all the time. When we get a general manager we will reduce the hours,” said Board President Bonnie McLane.

Griffiths added that the new attorney will have a flat fee of $3,000 per month for 20 hours.

“Thanks for allowing me a chance,” said Interim General Counsel John Knowlton. “As you make your decision, the position is a general practitioner. The general counsel is who leads and guides you on many things. I understand your vote and thank you for the time.”

The board then voted 3-2 to hire Churchwell White, represented by Barbara Brenner. McLane and Krizl voted no.

Knowlton and Brenner will likely both be at the next regular meeting in August, since he was assigned to negotiate the contract with the new law firm and present it to the board for final approval.

Michael Raffety

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