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Cincinnati accepting applications for top lawyer

Update 10/21 @ 10:00 P.M.:  Besides extending the deadline reported below to accept applications, the city is now making sure the solicitor position is more publicized.

Spokesman Rocky Merz said in an e-mail Tuesday evening the job listing is now being posted on the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) website.  It is also listed on the National Forum for Black Public Administrators website and will be advertised in the Cincinnati Bar Association publication.

The job was originally posted on the city's website on October 15th.  It appeared on the ICMA website Tuesday. 

Original Post:  Cincinnati is officially looking for a new, permanent city solicitor.  But those interested in being the top lawyer need to act fast. 

The job was posted on the city website on October 15, and the original deadline to submit applications was October 29.  City spokesman Rocky Merz said in an e-mail the deadline has now been extended to November 12.

Merz said the job was posted on a standard government jobs posting website. 

The job has a salary range of $120,000 to $184,000 a year. 

Some inside and outside of city hall are speculating the quick deadline means there will not a national search for the next solicitor, and that perhaps the new city manager already has a candidate in mind for the job.

Terry Nestor is serving as the city's interim solicitor.  He replaced John Curp in January when then interim city manager Scott Stiles removed Curp from the solicitor's office and sent him to work at the Metropolitan Sewer District.  Curp left the city in July and is now in private practice with Blank Rome in Cincinnati.

At the time of Curp’s demotion, at least two council members complained the Curp decision was an overreach from the mayor’s office.  Council Member Chris Seelbach said during a Council meeting on the issue the City Charter is clear the mayor and council members shall not be involved in personnel decisions made by the city manager.  

During that meeting when asked directly, Interim City Manager Scott Stiles would not say if the mayor or council members asked for Curp to be demoted.  Stiles said he was not going to discuss his private conversations with those individuals.  

Mayor John Cranley said the solicitor and other top department heads are at will employees and serve at the pleasure of the city manager.  They do not have the protections offered to civil service workers in the city.  Cranley added at the time the Curp decision is not news and happens frequently when city managers change.