The Jefferson County Commission voted to hire Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice and former Jefferson County Probate Judge Mike Bolin as the new county attorney today.
Former county attorney Jeff Sewell involuntarily retired last week after disagreements with some county commissioners.
Not all of the five member county commission backed Bolin. All Republican commissioners, David Carrington, Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight, supported fellow Republican Bolin.
The two Democrats, Commissioners George Bowman and Sandra Little Brown, voted against the nomination. The Democrats felt the vote was being rushed.
Carrington said the commission needed to act quickly because of the high legal issues facing the county, such as bankruptcy and the federal consent decree over hiring practices. Carrington said Bolin's character and qualifications send a message to all who deal with Jefferson County.
"I think we realize the number of county employees and commissioners convicted of crimes or pled guilty of crimes. Who better to come in than a former judge to watch over everything we are doing?" Carrington said.
Commissioner Brown agreed with Bowman, it was not a matter of qualifications.
"I wanted to get one on one with him and I had not the opportunity to vet with some of my constituents concerning the appointment. It was a little quick for me," Brown said.
Bolin will take over as county attorney in about 30 days or sooner if Gov. Robert Bentley names a successor to the state high court.
Bolin is expected to earn about $224,000 which is less than the almost $400,000 that Sewell earned.
Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive