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Leon County attorney set to retire, board considering options

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Posted at 11:20 AM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 11:21:59-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County's longtime attorney is set to retire soon, spurring the board to began considering replacement options.

The current county attorney, Herbert W.A. Thiele, is set to retire on March 31, 2020. He began working for the county in April 1990.

The Board of County Commissioners are now considering four options to hire Thiele's replacement.

The first entails promoting the current deputy county attorney LaShawn D. Riggans, who's been practicing law for 14 years and has been an in-house attorney for Leon County for over nine years, to county attorney.

In option two, the board may also consider soliciting outside applications locally and in professional legal publications. If this option is chosen, the board would be required to decide between reviewing the applications themselves or creating a selection committee to narrow the applications to a short list for interview by the board. The creation of such a committee would be discussed in a separate agenda item next month.

Another option would be to seek the services of an outside executive search firm to provide a short list of applicants to be interviewed by the Board of County Commissioners. Lastly, the board could consider using the Florida Association of County Attorneys’ (FACA) Recruitment Services program, which helps Florida counties hire attorneys for a flat fee.

Regardless of which option the board chooses, the new attorney would then be appointed by an affirmative vote of a majority plus one of the board of commissioners.

County commissioners are expected to make a decision on which option to take at their Tuesday afternoon meeting.