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Dubach closing in on legal help

Friday, April 19, 2019

DUBACH — The town of Dubach has gone without official legal representation for the entirety of 2019 thus far, but that situation may finally change in the near future.

At Monday’s town council meeting, Mayor Mary Claire Smith said the town had the option to appoint Tracy Houck as town attorney and town prosecutor, and the council agreed to do so provided they could informally meet with him in the coming days and ask him questions.

Houck, who is an assistant district attorney for the Third Judicial District, has offered the town a retainer-free deal similar to the one it long had in place with former town attorney Kyle Green, Smith said.

“We can’t afford to pay a retainer or exorbitant prices if something comes up we need legal advice about,” she said. “I feel very strongly that (Houck is) going to be our best option because he is not charging us any (retainer) fees. He’s basically doing it like Kyle was, out of the goodness of his heart and a love of Dubach.”

When it came time to reappoint a town attorney and prosecutor in January, there was some contention amongst the council on who out of Green and officemate Michael Mahaffey had previously served in which position, so no reappointment was made at the time.

Before the council reconvened in February, Green and Mahaffey had announced their resignation.

Smith first brought up a potential deal with Houck at the council’s February meeting, but the appointment has not yet been made because the majority of the council wishes to meet with him first, and Houck has not yet had the opportunity to come to a meeting.

“I think we all should be together when we talk to him,” council member Monique Roberts said. “We shouldn’t have an attorney if we can’t talk to him.”

Smith said she would try to set something up before May to honor the council’s wishes, but the town could not afford to wait another month.

“If we can have a meeting with (Houck) fairly soon, and everybody is satisfied, I would feel better if we could call a special meeting after that (to appoint him),” Smith said.

The council agreed, and as of Thursday morning, that is where things stand.

Houck could not be reached for comment by press time.

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