Tags: Crestwood News
July 03, 2013 - For the first time in more than a dozen years, Crestwood will have a new city attorney.
The Crestwood Board of Aldermen unanimously approved St. Louis law firm Lashly & Baer as the city's new legal representation at its meeting last week. Lashly & Baer attorney Lisa Stump will be the city's new primary attorney, heading a legal team of two additional attorneys.
She replaces longtime city attorney Rob Golterman, who has held the position since December 2000. Golterman announced his intention to leave the position last September and said at the time he would remain in the job until a replacement was found.
Ward 1 Alderman Darryl Wallach and board President Tim Trueblood of Ward 2 served on the search committee, which worked in parallel with Mayor Jeff Schlink's search process.
Wallach and Trueblood interviewed 20 candidates and narrowed them to a list of five or six finalists.
"It turns out our lists were almost identical," Schlink said, with both separately selecting Lashly & Baer as the best candidate.
Schlink and the search committee both gravitated to larger firms, he said, and Lashly & Baer's fees were in line with other firms.
"If we had somebody who was just hanging a shingle out by themselves, we didn't see that as the best way to serve the city," the mayor said.
With Stump as the lead attorney, Lashly & Baer will provide a three-attorney team to Crestwood, and each of the attorneys have different backgrounds in varying types of law, Schlink noted.
"I think the thing that struck me most (about Lashly & Baer) was the depth of this firm's background," Trueblood said. "I didn't feel, when we recommended this, that it was something we'd regret later on."
Stump is a corporate, governmental and public institutions attorney who earned her law degree from Washington University School of Law. She currently serves on a team as a city attorney for Festus.
Stump is not the lead attorney for Festus, she noted, so she will be able to primarily focus on Crestwood and its meetings.
Lashly & Baer, with offices in downtown St. Louis and Belleville, Illinois, is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a firm this year and has represented public agencies for more than 35 years, according to its website.
Stump is the chair of Lashly & Baer's governmental practice group and has represented the Rockwood School District, the St. Louis County Library, the Metropolitan Sewer District Rate Commission, the BiState Development Agency and the St. Louis Public Library.
Schlink noted that he took steps to ensure that any potential firm representing Crestwood did not also represent the Affton Fire Protection District, due to any potential conflicts that could ever arise from the payments Crestwood makes to Affton for an area annexed by Crestwood.
Neither Lashly & Baer nor Stump has ever represented the Affton Fire Protection District, she said.
As a next step, Golterman will draft Lashly & Baer's contract, which will outline the terms of fees and office hours.