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St. Mary’s Search Continues For New City Attorney, Prosecutor

The city of St. Mary Board of Aldermen this month reviewed its options for city and prosecuting attorney positions but did not take any action.

The topic was part of the agenda for the May 9 meeting of the Board of Aldermen.

Duke Nguyen resigned as city attorney and prosecutor effective May 1.

Nguyen, of Breeze, Westhoff, Nguyen & Elpers, submitted a letter citing his “busy schedule.”

He had taken over duties after the death of Frank Elpers in January of 2018.

Nguyen had just been reappointed by Mayor Gloria Bader during the April 11 board meeting when various appointments were made.

City clerk David Woods said the two bids the city had would be more than the hourly rate for Nguyen’s services.

The city had a bid on hand from 2014 from Ludwig and Bonner Law Firm, which provides services for “Perryville and Jackson and cities south of us,” Woods said.

Their bid was $450 per month on retainer to provide service for one municipal meeting per month and court every other month with anything beyond that billed at $120 per hour, Woods reported to the board.

Woods had contacted the Jefferson County-based Wegmann Law Firm, which works as city attorney for both Ste. Genevieve and Bloomsdale in Ste. Genevieve County as well as De Soto, Hillsboro and Herculaneum, among others.

Wegmann offered a rate of $150 per hour with increases of $5 per hour effective each January 1.

The letter from Mark Bishop said he would be able to serve as the city as prosecutor both in its current municipal court and after the transition to having cases processed through the 24th Circuit Court after October 1. He said, however, his service as city attorney for Ste. Genevieve on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month would take precedence, and the city’s meeting dates would have to be switched to another night if Bishop’s attendance was necessary.

The board asked Woods to obtain an estimate from Ste. Genevieve-based attorney Jacquelyn Gonz, who had worked for the city before.

See complete story in the May 22 edition of the Herald.

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