City attorney lessens load

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 05:02 PM

The city of Henderson’s primary attorney said he is slowing down.

John Zollicoffer Jr. announced at Monday night’s city council meeting he will not be taking any new clients or cases after he is finished with his pending caseload.

“I’ve enjoyed my 42 years as city attorney and 53 years practicing law in Vance County,” Zollicoffer said. “I was blessed with a wonderful staff and partners. It’s been a wonderful time practicing law. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s been very rewarding. I’ve been very pleased with what we’ve accomplished over the years.”

Zollicoffer, 78, said he will begin the process of transitioning to retirement.

“I can continue practicing law, but I will not be taking on any new projects,” he said. “I will still confer with the firm on certain matters, but I’m choosing not to advise clients on any new matters.”

Zollicoffer’s new role will be “of counsel,” which means he can still consult with the law firm but will not take on new clients.

City councilman Mike Inscoe said Zollicoffer’s position as city attorney will be filled by another lawyer with Zollicoffer’s firm — Stainback, Satterwhite & Zollicoffer, PLLC — which the city has a contract with.

Rix Edwards, who will join the firm in October, will become the city’s primary attorney when Zollicoffer leaves.

Inscoe said Zollicoffer will be sorely missed.

“He has performed admirably for city of Henderson,” he said. “He has been with the city for 42 years. His guidance in legal matters has been excellent.”

City Manager Ray Griffin said he will miss working with Zollicoffer.

“I have worked with city attorneys since 1976, and John Zollicoffer is the best I’ve worked with,” Griffin said. “He is extremely well-skilled and well-versed in municipal law. He is an attorney who represented the law in its highest form of ethics and represented it in the way I think the law should be.”

In other business, the city council:

• Tabled discussions about funding the construction of water lines — in collaboration with Vance County — to provide municipal water to residents in the extra-territorial jurisdiction.

• Discussed combining the Code Compliance and Planning and Community Development departments into the Development Services Department. This new department would have two divisions— Code Compliance and Planning and Community Development. Corey Williams, current code compliance director, would head this department and his primary focus would still be code compliance. The Planning and Community Development Department has no employees since the planning director and zoning administrator resigned recently, and funding for the Main Street Manager position was cut.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.