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Nitro getting new city attorney

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nitro is getting a new city attorney to replace Richie Robb.

Johnnie Brown, of the Charleston law firm Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe, will take over as Nitro city attorney effective Feb. 1, said Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt.

Robb said he found out earlier this month that he was being replaced as city attorney. He thinks city officials might have been unhappy with the way he handled a settlement.

In December, Nitro City Council voted to approve a settlement with city employee Sandra Saunders, who had made allegations of sexual harrassment and had a pay dispute with the city.

But Casebolt said Robb's job performance was not behind the move.

"Johnnie and his firm are offering us a lot more services," the mayor said. "They are very knowledgable about municipal law."

In addition to attending city council meetings, Brown and his firm will provide sexual harassment training for employees, advise on employment law, review police policies, provide police training on use of force and pursuit issues and help with the city's ordinances.

Casebolt said Robb was able to do some of those things, but said Brown and his firm can provide more comprehensive help.

Robb continues to serve as city attorney for the town of Marmet. He was mayor of South Charleston for 32 years.

Brown will be paid $3,000 a month as city attorney. Robb was paid $2,500 a month.

Neither Robb nor Casebolt said he had any hard feelings over the change.

"I have enjoyed my time there and wish them and Mayor [Casebolt] the best," Robb said.

"I appreciate Richie's service to the city over the past several years," Casebolt said. "We just feel we're getting a capable, full-service law firm."

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.

 


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