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City receives 8 applications for city attorney position

Mitchell will likely have a new city attorney. The Dec. 11 application has passed and the city received eight applications for the job, which will become a full-time position. Mayor Jerry Toomey said at least two of the candidates are from the Mi...

Mitchell will likely have a new city attorney.

The Dec. 11 application has passed and the city received eight applications for the job, which will become a full-time position.

Mayor Jerry Toomey said at least two of the candidates are from the Mitchell area and several have South Dakota ties. Toomey was uncertain about when a new city attorney would be named.

Carl Koch, the current city attorney, did not apply for the position, Toomey said. Koch served as city attorney from 1978 to 2003. He was then replaced by Randy Stiles, but returned to the position in 2012 after being appointed by then-Mayor Ken Tracy.

Toomey declined to release the names of the candidates.

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In a September City Council agenda, the mayor recommended former Deputy City Attorney Doug Papendick to take the position. Three days after the agenda was released, Toomey rescinded the recommendation when he learned about the possibility the job would become full-time. The council later approved the position to become a full-time job.

Toomey did not know why Koch decided not to apply, but said he's known there have been issues between Koch and the City Council in the past. Because of these unspecified issues, Toomey said he is not under the impression the council would have confirmed Koch's appointment as for the full-time position.

The job has long been a part-time position, allowing attorneys to split time between their private practice and city obligations. The council agreed to advertise the city attorney job as a full-time position during a September executive session.

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