Fluvanna County to create internal county attorney position

For over three and a half decades, Fred Payne has served as the county attorney in Fluvanna on a contract basis. Payne will soon retire and Fluvanna is proceeding in a new direction. 

“A decision has been made to move forward with creating a County Attorney Department to have in-house staff assistance as the County continues to grow,” writes County Administrator Eric Dahl in a staff report. 

Fluvanna has paid Payne and his law firm Payne & Hodous an average of $292,000 a year between FY18 and FY22, a figure that covers all of the county’s legal needs including work to secure easements to supply water to Zion Crossroads. Legal fees have increased in the current fiscal year to an average of $30,000 a month. That higher figure provides the basis budget for the new department.

“In order to fully cover the County for the range of legal services needed, it is anticipated that the County Attorney Department would be made up of a staff of three: a County Attorney, Assistant County Attorney and Paralegal/Legal Asst,” Dahl continues in the report.

The plan would be to hire the attorney first followed by the other positions. Fluvanna Supervisors will discuss the official job description at their meeting on Wednesday. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 5, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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