ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commission elected an interim city attorney during a special meeting Monday, choosing Carol Lahman with a 7-0 vote.
After about half an hour of discussion in executive session, commissioners reconvened in public to unanimously vote Lahman “as interim attorney on the same terms as the last city attorney,” until someone has been hired for the full-time position.
The commission also discussed an item on the agenda regarding the hiring process for a new city attorney before adjourning. Commissioners voted to wait and “digest” the information in the job description, then discuss it and list the position at a later day.
Lahman replaces Andrea Chism, who was let go last week in a 5-2 vote.
Lahman has worked with the city of Enid in multiple capacities during her career. She grew up in Oklahoma City, attended Vanderbilt University and went to the University of Oklahoma law school. She graduated and passed the bar in 1985. After that she worked for three years for a federal judge before coming to Enid in 1988 as an assistant city attorney.
She went in to private practice for a year at the end of 1988, then went back to being assistant city attorney from 1991-1995.
“I decided I liked government practice more than private,” Lahman said.
She was interim city attorney in 1995, then became city attorney until January 2009, when her contract was not renewed. She was replaced by Chism, who had been assistant city attorney since Dec. 1, 2008.
Lahman went to work with her husband’s law firm at that time, and now does litigation with partners at the Mitchell DeClerck law firm. She also has represented cities in Oklahoma at different times, such as Del City, Miami and Carmen. She was hired as an attorney for the Police Civil Service Commission and helps her husband with things such as bankruptcy, wills and estates, and class actions.
“Most of my time has been doing municipal law,” she said.
She said she will “help out” the city during her time but is “not planning to make any particular changes.” She does not have any specific goals scheduled in the near future except to meet with department heads and see if there is anything that needs to be prioritized during her three months on the job.
She said that while three months is the set time period, her stint as interim city attorney could change. She said that she would potentially step down or stay working with the city if the new city attorney is found before her time is up, or if the new attorney cannot take up the job immediately at the end of those months due to a previous commitment that must be served out. For now, 90 days is the approved time frame.
Chism was given two months severance. Her total compensation package was $125,000 a year.