By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
The Crescent City City Council announced last night it has chosen Thomas French to fill its new full-time city attorney post.
"Mr. French will begin his duties following approval of his contract at the Nov. 3 city council meeting," City Manager Dave Wells read from a prepared statement. Wells added that French "brings broad legal experience to the new position."
French, a deputy district attorney with the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office, was one of seven applicants for the new position. Three finalists were considered last night, Wells said.
"This is a delightful career opportunity," French said last night after Mayor Glenn Gary called him with the news. "It's also an opportunity for me to help the city council and the city manager to take the city in the direction they deem appropriate."
French, a former U.S. Marine, graduated from San Diego's Thomas Jefferson College of Law in 1994, and earned his undergraduate degree with East Tennessee State University. He spent three years in private practice in Southern California focusing on insurance and labor issues before accepting the position of deputy district attorney in Del Norte County.
"I'd like to thank the Crescent City City Council for the confidence they've shown in me," said French. "And I'd like to say it has been a great experience working in the district attorney's office. It was a great learning experience and I've enjoyed everyone I've worked with there."
Wells did not indicate last night what the salary range will be for the new position.
Wells said :"The council would also like to express its sincere appreciation to Dohn Henion for his many years of effort on behalf of Crescent City."
Henion has been the contracted city attorney for several years. At council meetings earlier this year, he suggested the full-time position to the council as a way to simplify the position and possibly save costs for the city.
Henion did not indicate last night whether or not he applied for the new position.
"I am honored to have been the city attorney for the past 14 years and I will work to ensure a smooth transition for the new city attorney," Henion said last night.