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Fayette seeks solicitor

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Fayette County commissioners on Tuesday terminated a consulting agreement with their chief solicitor and appointed a new interim chief.

Ken Burkley, who has a private practice in Greensburg, said on Tuesday that it was his choice to leave.

“I didn't really intend to be there that long,” he said.

The board voted to name John Cupp, a current county solicitor, as interim chief until all candidates are interviewed. Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink voted against the measure.

Commissioners Al Ambrosini, Vince Zapotosky and Zimmerlink voted to re-advertise the position, as only Cupp and Sheryl Heid, another county solicitor, applied for the position as chief.

Burkley originally was hired for three to six months, beginning in July 2012, at a salary not to exceed $4,000 a month.

Ambrosini said he and Zapotosky met with a county insurance representative in an effort to reduce the county's deductible and discuss ways to reduce litigation.

Burkley said he left the board with a report that included several recommendations.

Most county litigation stems from county jails, he said, and he recommended training for jail personnel and establishing risk-management committees.

“They had no office in the courthouse (for solicitors) and I recommended that, and made some suggestions to create some better measures of accountability,” he said.

Cupp's interim salary was set at $50,500 annually, including benefits, commissioners said.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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