City of Kyle narrows attorney search

by ANDY SEVILLA

Kyle Council members have narrowed their list of potential candidates for the city attorney position, and they are slated for a second round of interviews Wednesday in Executive Session.

Fifteen attorneys applied for the position, but after reviewing qualifications and experience, council members honed those to five applicants – though one withdrew before interviewing with the city.

City Manager Lanny Lambert said Kyle has had contract attorneys since the city’s birth, but due to a population boom in the last decade, he said the city now is large enough to “justify the cost associated with a full-time city attorney.”

In an open-records request, City Secretary Amelia Sanchez did not specify a reason for the applicant’s withdrawal, but she did identify the person as Barbara Boulware-Wells.

In her letter of interest, Boulware-Wells said she had the experience, knowledge and abilities to step into the position and “hit the ground running.”

Her letter said that since 2000 she had served several cities in Texas as either assistant city attorney or contract city attorney.

Attorneys Julian Grant, Mario R. Gutierrez, Peter B. Plotts and Charles Wallace were interviewed last week for the city attorney position, but city documents do not state if all four will make the second round of interviews Wednesday.

The city’s advertisement seeking a city attorney stated that the starting salary would be between $75,000 to $85,000 plus an “outstanding benefits package.”

The city is requiring a four-year college degree and a doctorate in jurisprudence. Candidates are also asked to have experience with Texas law involving municipal law and the Texas Local Government Code, with a minimum of five years experience to include a Civil Service and Meet and Confer background.

Grant received his Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Texas School of Law in 1992 and received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 1989, according to his resume.

Grant has worked for the Texas Attorney General’s Office since 2003 in the Public Finance Division and in Local Government Affairs. He also has served as a deputy city attorney for Temple.

Gutierrez received his JD from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1994, according to his resume. He received his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Texas Graduate School of Business and his Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering at Auburn University.

Gutierrez served as the Alamo Area Council of Governments’ (AACOG) general counsel and public information officer in San Antonio. He has also held the position of assistant city attorney in both San Marcos and New Braunfels

Plotts received his JD from the University of Houston Law Center in 1987 and received a Bachelor of Art in German literature from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, according to his resume.

Since 1996, Plotts has worked in the State of Texas General Litigation Division and serves as Assistant Attorney General VI. He’s also served as an assistant city attorney for Austin; he reads and writes German, French and Russian, and is presently learning Polish.

Wallace received his JD from South Texas College of Law in Houston and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, according to his resume.

Wallace has been self-employed since March and served as a staff attorney for Asset Acceptance, LLC, for two years before that. He also served as assistant city attorney for New Braunfels for three years.

According to the city charter, the city attorney serves as legal counsel for the city and is appointed by the city council.

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