County attorney out as board declines to renew contract
Grand County will soon need a new attorney after county commissioners voted this week not to renew its contract with Alan Hassler, who has served as the board’s attorney since June 2015.
County Commissioners Richard Cimino and Kristen Manguso voted not to renew Hassler’s contract for attorney services while Commissioner Merrit Linke opposed the move, supporting keeping on Hassler.
The issue came before the board during its first official meeting of the new year on Tuesday.
“I don’t believe it is the right thing to do at this time, to terminate the county attorney,” Linke told the board. “I think that, yes, there have been some things that have caused some issues, but overall I think he has done a good job and has made a lot of progress.”
Cimino first broached the issue, noting that he wished to terminate Hassler’s employment, and Manguso expressed her support.
The reason for Hassler’s termination remains unclear, with Cimino saying the county wants to “seek a new direction.”
“I came on last year and had many citizens and colleagues discuss, one way or another, the services of the county attorney,” Cimino said. “I wanted to observe first-hand, for a whole year. … I think this is a good time.”
Linke voiced his opposition to Hassler’s firing, saying it wasn’t the proper time to make a change and that “things are going along good enough.” He called the other two commissioner’s approval of the termination short-sighted and said there were no legitimate grounds for his dismissal “other than just a few mistake that were made, but I think they are being corrected.”
Hassler will be provided with three months of severance pay after his tenure ends.
Sky-Hi News contacted Hassler for comments on this story, but he declined to make any statements, citing his “professional obligations.”
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