The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 9, 2013

Carly Prather hired as Conneaut law director

CONNEAUT — Carly Prather, after a seven-month audition, was introduced as Conneaut’s newest law director at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

Prather, 28, has been the city’s assistant law director since January 2011 and acting director since March, when David Schroeder stepped down to become Ashtabula County’s Western Court judge.

“She’s done an exceptional job,” said City Manager Tim Eggleston, who made the announcement.

Prather will be a full-time law director with a salary capped at $52,000 annually. The assistant law director job will remain on the books, but it will not be filled, Eggleston said. As a result, Prather will handle criminal prosecutions — her primary focus as assistant — along with the city’s legal business.

For the past few years, the law director and assistant law director positions had been part-time jobs.

Council President Thomas Udell congratulated Prather on her appointment, joking that the word "acting" has been officially banished. Prather will be working closing with the city’s planning/zoning department on code enforcement, Eggleston said.

When Schroeder resigned, Eggleston said at the time he would appoint a panel to help find his successor. Prather’s good work in the interim made a search committee unnecessary, Eggleston said.

“I thought long and hard about it, but Carly has really proven herself,” he said.

Prather is a 2002 Conneaut High School graduate who earned her law degree at Ohio Northern.

Elsewhere, council nearly didn’t convene Monday’s meeting for a llack of members. When the meeting’s 7 p.m. start time arrived, four of the seven were absent: councilmen-at-large Neil LaRusch and John Roach, along with Ward 2’s Phil Garcia and Ward 3 representative Richard McBride. Council rules stipulate a quorum of four members is needed to hold a meeting.

LaRusch, who was ill, was contacted by phone and got up from his sick bed to become the fourth attendee and salvage the meeting.

Six members are needed to rescind council’s three-reading rule for new legislation, so four measures on the agenda were automatically pushed to a second reading, including the re-appointment of Judy Williams to the Conneaut Board of Tourism. Also awaiting action are measures adding 524 Lakeview Ave., and 255 Clay St., to the city’s house demolition list.

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