Position of city attorney down to four candidates

Candidates for the position of city attorney were narrowed down this weekend to four, of which two hold current positions with the CBJ.


On Saturday, the Assembly City Attorney Hiring Subcommittee met and reviewed candidates to fill the open position.

Amy Mead, an assistant city attorney since 2010, and Jane Sebens, the deputy city attorney, are two of the recommendations the subcommittee will make to full Assembly next week.

After John Hartle, the current city attorney, announced his plans in April to retire at the end of this month, assemblymembers Randy Wanamaker, Jesse Kiehl and Loren Jones were assigned to the subcommittee to undertake the vetting and application process for the incoming city attorney.

“I think it’s looking very good,” Kiehl said. “I think we’ve got a great mix of experiences. Some folks who have civil and criminal justice backgrounds, others have more legislative drafting than others. It’s come down in large part to the individuals. Personally, I’m really looking forward to reading their writing samples.”

The Assembly subcommittee requested that the candidates submit a legal writing sample, presumably a work product they’ve done of something else that will contribute to the Assembly interview process. The short sample will illustrate their style, clarity and brevity along with legal skill and a topic of their choice.

The final decision regarding how to proceed is on the agenda for the regular Assembly meeting next week.

“I would anticipate they reach their decision after the interviews,” said Mila Cosgrove, director of human resources for the city. “I don’t think anyone wants to drag their feet.”

The other two candidates, Karen Jennings and Debra O’Gara, are residents of Palmer and Juneau, respectively.

Jennings operates a legal practice and also acts as an administrative hearing officer for the Mat-Su Borough. O’Gara is the current director of planning and development for the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

A total of eight applications were received for the position of city attorney.

Hartle held the poisition since 2003.

• Contact reporter Kenneth Rosen at 523-2250 or at kenneth.rosen@juneauempire.com.


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