City searches for new attorney

November 26, 2013 • Local News

The city has only received two submissions after launching its search for an in-house attorney this month and both were returned as incomplete, officials said Monday.

The position was advertised beginning Nov. 11, when city councilors decided to stop paying for outside legal counsel.

After advertising the job, the city received two resumes but returned both when they were submitted without an application, according to the city’s Human Resources director, Sheila Nuñez.

The job was advertised in the Roswell [auth] Daily Record, posted on the city’s website, a national job search site called, with the New Mexico Municipal League and sent to University of New Mexico’s School of Law alumni, Nuñez said.

“We’re not surprised,” Nuñez said. “They’re public record. So, a lot of people wait until the last minute. We realize we’re advertising through the holidays. People are traveling and not job searching.”

The position is also management-level. Many applicants may be waiting until the deadline nears to submit their applications, she said.

City manager Larry Fry has the ability to extend the deadline, now set at Dec. 6, if no applications are received, Nuñez said.

The city’s job positing lists the salary range for the position at $75,397-$96,227. Minimum requirements for the applicant are that he or she needs to be a graduate from an accredited law school and have six years of increasingly responsible professional legal experience with preferably two years of directly associated government operations experience.

The candidate must also be in good standing with the State Bar Association of New Mexico.

The applicant must also have a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities related to state statutes, city issues and laws, along with several other listed requirements.

The city currently pays attorney Barbara Patterson $12,784 a month, plus incidentals. Her contract can be extended if an in-house attorney is not hired by Jan. 1.

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