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James City County Administrator Bryan Hill has hired a new attorney for the county, pending approval from the board of supervisors.
The board will consider whether to approve the hire of Michele Gowdy, who currently serves as the attorney for New Kent County, at its April 28 meeting.
If approved, she will replace Interim County Attorney Adam Kinsman, who has been serving in that capacity since shortly after Leo Rogers left to become the Loudoun County attorney in November.
Hill said there were 15 applicants for the position. He had Gowdy make a presentation to the county’s executive staff and a few members of the board of supervisors, after which “she came out on top.”
“I’m very fortunate to be able to hire someone of her caliber and quality,” he said.
Should the board OK Gowdy’s contract, Kinsman will return to working full time as the assistant county administrator. Hill said Kinsman — who served as assistant and then deputy county attorney from 2005 until August — will be able to use his institutional knowledge of the county attorney’s office to assist Gowdy with her transition from New Kent County.
Gowdy began as the part-time assistant county attorney for New Kent County in January 2009. She was then named interim county attorney in February 2010, with a promotion to county attorney coming in June 2010.
“It’s going to be a big loss to our county,” New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway said. “She has done an extraordinary job. She has been great to work with, and we wish her well. We’re excited about the opportunity she has.”
Hathaway said that during Gowdy’s time with the county, she drafted a formal procurement policy, updated several human resources policies and played a “significant role” in updating several of the county’s ordinances.
Hill said he is happy to bring Gowdy on board along with a new director of human resources, Angie Gilliam, who is set to start May 1.
“When you look at what we’ve done in the last seven months, we haven’t missed a beat without people in high-level positions,” he said.