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Full-time attorney starts, county has yet to create job description for position

John Rambo began work as Washington County’s first full-time attorney Nov. 1 without an office or a job description.
Renovations to the downtown courthouse were scheduled to start this week, and plans are to have Rambo and his legal staff in their offices within a month.
The job description may take a little longer.
Rambo has offered three revisions of his original list of responsibilities in the new role, but the Legal Services Oversight Committee is still not ready to make a recommendation for approval to the full board.
More than one commissioner took issue at the August meeting when asked to vote on hiring an employee with an annual salary of $148,500 but no formal job description.
Part of the problem, despite numerous conversations, is that no decision was ever made on hiring employees to operate formal programs for human resource and benefits management, and risk management. For now, these are included in Rambo’s most recent version of the job description.
Doyle Cloyd, chair of the Legal Services Oversight Committee, said discussions on assigning additional responsibilities will take place during future committee meetings, but several commissioners preferred to have the final job description before taking action.
In the end, majority votes by the commission approved the resolution to create the Office of County Attorney and appointed Rambo as in-house counsel with no decision on the job description.
During the Nov. 1 meeting of the Legal Services Oversight Committee, Mayor Dan Eldridge said he would like a clarification of his working relationship with Rambo included in the description.
“Prior to today, you worked for me,” Eldridge said. “Now you work for a committee.”
Rambo was quick to provide his own clarification. “Regardless of how I ended up here, my responsibility to Washington County government is through its officials,” he said. “I still do report to the mayor and other county officials and county commissioners.”
Rambo also made a point to say the only time he will reveal secrets is when keeping them would be to the detriment of the entire organization.
“How would you handle a conflict between me and the mayor?” Commissioner Mike Ford asked.
Rambo said such a conflict would rarely be a legal problem, but the law would determine the direction if it were.
Commissioner George “Skip” Oldham said Rambo’s comments during the meeting are very important, and encouraged him to share the same information with the full commission.
Rambo also noted he has a statutory responsibility to request a judge remove any county official found conducting illegal activity, and this request could be made without permission from the committee or the county commission.