MOUNT DORA, Fla. (August 22, 2018) – – During a special meeting held on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, the City of Mount Dora City Council voted unanimously to sever ties with the firm of Stenstrom, McIntosh, Colbert & Whigham, P.A.
The City Manager, Robin Hayes, gave a review of the law firm’s performance, providing that services were not up to par for what the city needed. The discontinuation was based on a number of factors which resulted in the City Council’s lack of confidence in the firm’s ability to properly represent the city.
In addition, the City of Mount Dora is a full-service city, requiring the expertise of a full-service law firm. The firm of Stenstrom, McIntosh, Colbert and Whigham, is only open four (4) days a week, which makes conducting the City's legal business difficult.
“The council collectively agrees with the need for a law firm that can be available, full time, for the City of Mount Dora,” said Mayor Nick Girone.
Specific factors which contributed to the discontinuation of service with the law firm include: the negative interactions of one of its attorneys with city staff members in 2017; Code Enforcement advisory issues; problems with a recent land use related, de novo appeal hearing; and, the overall lack of service from the law firm. These factors presented by the City Manager led to the Council’s vote to seek out another law firm to represent Mount Dora.
“It was directed by the council that myself and City Manager, Robin Hayes, reach out to the law firm of Bell and Roper, who has represented the city in various litigation matters in the past. They accepted the council’s offer to serve as interim City Attorney,” said Girone.
As of August 22, 2018, the firm of Bell & Roper, P.A., Sherry Sutphen, has agreed to provide interim services to the City of Mount Dora.
“The City Council as a whole realizes the need for a law firm that can work with city leaders and councilmembers as we continue growing into the future. The city is poised for residential and commercial growth and needs a law firm that can support our needs. The Council recognized the need for change and we are looking forward to a positive future with a new firm as we continue to progress as a city,” said Girone.
Moving forward, the City will likely issue a solicitation for securing the services of a new City Attorney.