Prattville reinstates terminated city attorney, brings on second attorney

Prattville reinstates terminated city attorney, brings on second attorney
The Prattville City Council could vote to approve a controversial construction project. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - Prattville now has two attorneys representing its interests following a city council meeting on Tuesday.

The first resolution the council considered authorized Rob Riddle, newly appointed interim city attorney, to represent Prattville on a legal matter in the absence of a permanent city attorney. When council president Albert Striplin opened the floor up for discussion, Councilman Richard Cables proposed an amendment allowing Riddle to handle more than just that one specific case.

"Be it further resolved Rob Riddle is an additional city attorney, shall provide legal services to the city of Prattville for litigation matters in or matters reasonably anticipated lead to litigation, and shall be compensated an hourly rate of $175 an hour for work performed," said Cables.

Councilwoman Denise Brown offered a different amendment that would have brought back the previous city attorney.

"Be it further resolved the city council of Prattville reinstates its previous appointment of David McDowell," Brown read.

Brown's amendment died as it was not seconded. Cables' amendment to the resolution, however, passed by a 4-2 vote.

Then something unexpected happened during the mayor's report. He announced his decision to reinstate the previous city attorney. The man whom he had let go.

"At this time I would rescind the termination of David McDowell," said Mayor Bill Gillespie.

This means the city attorney, David McDowell, is back on his job and Rob Riddle will also serve as a second city attorney.

There was a resident who spoke at Tuesday's meeting who did raise concerns about how exactly having two city attorneys will benefit Prattville.

As to why McDowell was terminated, and then reinstated, the mayor will not say. WSFA not only made an attempt Tuesday after the meeting to request on-camera comments from the mayor and council president, but also at the previous council meeting last month. They both refused.

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