by Stacy Wiedmaier
The Southern Platte County Ambulance District Board of Directors unanimously has chosen attorney Daniel Fowler of Kansas City to represent the district as its legal counsel.
The board has been relying solely on its EMS legal consultant, Attorney Frank Foster of Jefferson City since its original counsel, Mark Hubbard, terminated his agreement with them by email Aug. 20.
Three attorneys have been in the running since Hubbard's absence and each came to previous meetings where they presented their qualifications to the board. They include Robert Black of Witt, Hicklin & Snider, Daniel Fowler of Collins, Fowler, Harlan LLC and Bradley Grill of Grill Law Firm LLC.
When the attorney selection was brought to the table, vice chairman Fred Sanchez questioned fellow board members why this action would not be taken during a closed session since he considers it a personnel issue. The board moved on after they established there was no need for secrecy.
Board chairman Bobby Kincaid said he felt Black lacked the necessary experience.
“His resume does not have more than a couple years experience,” he said. “I didn't feel he would be a real good candidate for this district.”
Board member Scott Ritchey said he was thankful for each candidate taking the time to come to past meetings and all were well qualified. He questioned why more outside attorneys were not sought for the position, but Kincaid explained how he contacted several lawyers who declined because of their existing workload.
Board member Marte Zirschky said she has seen Fowler operate firsthand, as he currently serves as the Platte County Senior Citizens Service Fund attorney.
“He has a lot of experience with contracts, as we do a lot of contracting,” she said for her recommendation. “He's very careful, detail-oriented and honest.”
Sanchez said Zirschky's recommendation “carried much weight for me,” since she has worked with him personally. But he also offered his opinion that State Rep. Jason Grill is related to Bradley Grill and that may be beneficial in the long run.
“That would be a benefit for the district if we wanted influence in Jefferson City,” Sanchez remarked. “That said, my qualification is they've got to have a spine. To be able to withstand any kind of controversy; that attorney is our attorney. If we go with Mr. Fowler, he needs to know that.”
The vote to hire Fowler pending a contractual agreement passed 6-0. Kincaid said he would contact Fowler the following day to request specifics such as fees, the contract's length and any personal insurance he holds. Kincaid said Fowler will be present at the board's next meeting held Jan. 16 to be welcomed and he will immediately start needed business.
Fowler was present at the board's meeting last month. He said his hourly rate was $175. No travel time or expenses will be incurred.