Search continues for city attorney

January 31, 2014 • Local News

The city will re-advertise for an in-house city attorney after receiving only two applicants and hearing concerns that it did not advertise sufficiently for the position.

“Some concern was expressed that we didn’t advertise widely enough,” said City Manager Larry Fry. “We always want to get as many applications as we can.”

The city will re-advertise in the next few days. The process will take another 30 to 45 days before an attorney may be hired, Fry said.

“Right now, we’re just [auth] trying to make sure everything is lined up and ready to advertise,” Fry said. “It would be very quickly.”

Attorney Barbara Patterson’s contract has been extended in the meantime.

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

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, in November.

The job was advertised in the Roswell 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.

The city’s job posting 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.

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