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Town to switch legal service provider

December 7, 2010

Coventry will be switching solicitors.

A new solicitor was hired at a special meeting held by the town council on Monday night.
Frederick G. Tobin’s appointment was affirmed and approved by the council 4 to 0.
Councilwoman Laura Flanagan was absent.
In addition to Tobin, the town manager recommended as a part of the resolution that Edwards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge stay on as assistant solicitors for “designated tasks.” This was approved as part of the same resolution.

In addition to hiring the new solicitor a contract was awarded for repairs to the Flat River Reservoir spillway, footbridge and outlet.
Two members of the council were also appointed to the Sewer Subcommittee as two vacancies were left by departing councilmen Frank Hyde and Glenford Shibley
The two members appointed were Kerry McGee and Thaddeus Jendzejec.
The meeting lasted only about 20 minutes according to town manager Thomas Hoover.
Executive session was also held to discuss litigation and collective bargaining.
Tobin was hired as the new solicitor at $200 an hour.
Hoover said that a new council certainly has a right to hire a new town solicitor and had chosen to do that.
The outgoing council had expressed concern over certain legal matters facing the town and questioned the wisdom of replacing the town solicitors at this point in litigation.
Edwards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge will stay on for four individual items that concern two subjects, according to Hoover.
The two subjects are ongoing litigation concerning the landfill and litigation with Nicholas Cambio concerning sewer assessments.
Tobin will then take over everything else and it will be up to him, with council approval, to hire any assistant town solicitors.
Tobin will take over all other matters of litigation, including any possible litigation with the school department.
Patrick Rogers from Edwards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge had been serving as town solicitor. He had been acting as hearing officer in the personnel board hearing for terminated finance director Warren West. Tobin will take over that role when the hearing resumes. Hoover said that the charter requires the town solicitor oversee that.
West’s hearing will resume pending the scheduling of another hearing date by the personnel board.

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