City has two finalists for attorney job

Two finalists for city attorney, Robert Taylor and Ralph Hess, will be interviewed May 14 by the Kingman City Council.

Taylor is the current staff member in the city attorney's office assigned to domestic violence cases.

He handles additional duties as assigned.

Robert Hess is the assistant chief city attorney in Prescott.

Hess has been with Prescott since October 1990 and is the city's lead attorney for civil litigation.

He also advises city departments and the city council on legal issues.

He graduated from the College of Law at the University of Toledo in Ohio after receiving a bachelor of science degree from Bowling Green University in Ohio.

Jackie Walker, human resources and risk management director for Kingman, said Hess has taken civil litigation for the city of Prescott to several levels of the court process, including the U.S.

Supreme Court.

Taylor received his law degree from the College of Law at Ohio Northern University after earning a bachelor of arts degree at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.

He came to Kingman in spring 2001 after 21 years as a corporate lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio.

He had purchased a house a year earlier and studied for the Arizona Bar examination.

Taylor said it was a challenge to study broad areas of law again after 21 years in practice.

As a corporate lawyer, Taylor worked with real estate development, civil litigation and employment law.

He considers the move to a small town a "second career" in law, which gives him an opportunity to connect with individuals and their problems.

Walker said six applicants were reduced to four during the first round of interviews.

She was joined by City Manager Roger Swenson, three current council members, two newly elected council members and Judge Sheldon Weisberg on the selection committee.

The council has set a minimum salary of $70,000 for the new city attorney and will negotiate the figure with the successful candidate.

The city attorney, city manager and the city magistrate are the three positions selected directly by the council.

One of the tasks of the new city attorney will be litigation with Waste Management, which has sued the city regarding garbage service and annexation.

The city attorney position became vacant when Charlotte Wells accepted an appointment to the Mohave County Superior Court.