The search for Chandler’s next city attorney began in earnest Monday as City Council members interviewed three potential candidates for the job.
The council is searching for someone to replace Mike House, who is leaving at the end of the year after serving two years as the city’s top legal counsel. He informed the city in May that he was leaving.
While there is no hard deadline for selecting a candidate, the council is expected to choose one before House leaves at the end of the month. House has offered to stay longer if council members are unable to agree on a candidate, city spokesman Jim Phipps said.
“If the people doing the interviewing don’t like the candidate, they could start the search over again,” he said.
Once a candidate is selected, an employment contract will be submitted to the seven-member council for approval. The city pays House about $167,000 per year.
Council members interviewed Glendale Chief Deputy City Attorney Jon Paladini, Tempe Assistant City Attorney Mary Wade and Scottsdale Assistant City Attorney Clifford Frey for the position Monday.
The city attorney’s office is split into civil and criminal divisions. The civil division handles lawsuits involving the city in state and federal courts regarding issues such as zoning, bankruptcy, contracts and real estate. The criminal division prosecutes misdemeanor cases in city court and handles other cases before the Maricopa County Superior Court, the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.