QUESTION: Has Floyd “Tripp” Isenhour III had a change of heart about his new job as Alamance County’s chief legal counsel?
ANSWER: It seems that Tripp Isenhour’s stint as Alamance County’s attorney has, indeed, ended before it even really began.
Isenhour, a private practitioner with the Virginia-based law firm of Caskie & Frost, had been selected to serve as Alamance County’s new legal counsel following the summary dismissal of former county attorney Clyde Albright in the first week of October.
The board of commissioners ultimately tapped Isenhour for this position some three months ago after a candidate search that was overseen by interim county attorney Debra Bechtel.
A lawyer with the Teague Campbell law firm, which has provided the county’s legal services since Albright’s departure, Bechtel conceded that Isenhour wouldn’t be able to start his new gig right away when she publicly announced his selection on March 8. Bechtel noted that the incoming county attorney would, first, have to obtain his credentials to practice law in North Carolina. She told the commissioners that, until then, she and her colleagues at Teague Campbell would continue to provide Alamance County’s legal services.
Bechtel went on to predict that Isenhour should be ready to take over the county’s legal department in “mid summer.” In line with this expectation, the county’s personnel office had penciled in a tentative start date of July 1 for Isenhour.
But all this has since been thrown for a loop by an apparent reversal on the part of the incoming county attorney.
County commissioner Bill Lashley acknowledged that he recently received word from Bechtel about this unexpected development.
“I was notified that Tripp Isenhour has removed his name for consideration,” Lashley revealed in an interview Tuesday. “We are going to open up [the selection process] for a new attorney,” the commissioner added, “and we’re going to start over because we’ve had some people who’ve inquired about the job after it was filled.”
Lashley insisted that there are some rather strong candidates among the latest batch of applicants, which he said has left him optimistic that this new round of selection will reach a speedy conclusion. Lashley added that the county has already retained Teague Campbell through the end of June, which he said ought to be enough time for the commissioners to bring in a new staff attorney.
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