The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

City Council Meets

Comes One Step Closer to Hiring Attorney

 

April 17, 2019



The City of Glasgow came one step closer to ending a months-long search to find and hire a criminal-focused city attorney. At their regular meeting on Monday, April 15, the council approved a conditional offer to negotiate with Anna Rose Sullivan, currently of Wolf Point, to take on the role of both civil and criminal Glasgow City attorney.

Sullivan attended the meeting to advocate for herself and provide a brief background. She said that she is a Butte native, who attended Gonzaga University to study philosophy and psychology before heading off to the Peace Corps. After her service, she enrolled and completed law school at the University of Montana. After public service work, she took on the challenge of private practice and then took the assistant county attorney spot in Roosevelt County.

Eventually, Sullivan came to work in private practice for Terry Toavs. While working in private practice she became the Wolf Point city attorney and acts in a public and private capacity today. Sullivan said she would be working full-time out of Glasgow if she took on the position.

The council approved a motion, made by City Councilman Stan Ozark, to extend a conditional offer to Sullivan that would allow for her salary to range between $65,000 and $70,000 a year. Currently, the position is allocated at $60,000 a year. The motion was carried unanimously by the council.

The need for a city attorney had not been a need planned for by the council. Prior to 2019, the job of city attorney was split between County Attorney Dylan Jensen and private attorney Pete Helland. Jensen handled all matters criminal and Helland handled all things civil and administrative. Helland had originally been slated to be both, but a later conflict would prevent him from handling criminal cases. In late 2018, Jensen refused to renew a contract with the city for his office to continue to fulfill the role.

After losing the criminal attorney contract the city set out to find a replacement, but a months-long search resulted no takers and the council began to actively recruit potential attorneys. If Sullivan takes the position she would replace both Helland and Jensen. That outcome became more likely, as a single candidate to take on just the criminal aspect seemed unobtainable.

Helland was gracious about the possible outcome. “Now I can sue the city,” he quipped good-heartedly to the council after discussion on the offer.

The city council also approved the hiring of Zach Johnson for the vacant Glasgow Police Department Officer position. Johnson moved to Glasgow from Elkton, Md., near the tip of Chesapeake Bay. On the topic of moving to Glasgow he said, “Everything I ever dreamed of is here.” He discussed his aspirations to live in Glasgow and to have a police officer job in the middle of nowhere.

According to Chief Gault, Johnson had already completed a background check and his psychological evaluation had been unremarkable, but the official results had not officially been returned. Johnson is on the waiting list to attend the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in July.

 

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