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Dawson County attorney retires, Cumming law firm to serve board of commissioners in interim
Dawson County Attorney
Lynn Frey. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Dawson County Attorney Lynn Frey recently resigned from his position as legal representation for the board of commissioners, and the board has contracted with Cumming law firm Jarrard & Davis to serve as interim representation.

The board discussed the transition during a special called meeting Dec. 27.

Frey, who was hired as the county’s first on-staff attorney in February 2017, is retiring due to illness, as he explained in a letter to the commissioners dated Dec. 20.

“After a great deal of thought I have realized that I am unable to continue to serve as county attorney for the wonderful community that is Dawson County,” the letter reads. “My health has deteriorated to a degree that prevents me from providing the level of service the county deserves...I will miss a great many folks, too many to name here, and will leave with gratitude for the welcome I was given, for the many kindnesses I have been shown over the last couple of years and for the opportunity you gave me to be part of something that matters.”
Frey said that he will be returning to his former home in Darien, which is near the city of Brunswick, where he served as city attorney for 13 years.

A compensation amount of $25,000 will be paid to Frey according to a retirement agreement ratified by the board.

The board also ratified an agreement to pay the firm of Jarrard & Davis for legal services provided regarding the retirement agreement and as well as ratified an interim retention agreement with the firm for a period of 60 days until permanent legal representation can be obtained.

Attorney Ken Jarrard, who serves as county attorney for Forsyth County,  said the firm will get up to speed with legal affairs that need to be addressed until the board gives further direction.

“The board of commissioners has been emphatic that they want a seamless transition while they consider what next steps to take with respect to representation and we have been honored to provide that interim representation,” Jarrard said.

The board did not discuss if they will be seeking to contract with a firm or looking to hire another in-house attorney.

Frey was appointed county attorney on Feb. 2, 2017.

Prior to Frey, the board contracted with local attorney Joey Homans for legal services for 20 years. The board voted in December 2016 to look into bringing the attorney position in-house, on the premise the move would save the county money.

The board spent $180,316.19 on legal representation in 2016 and had budgeted over $232,000 in 2017. Homans was paid an hourly rate to help Frey transition into the position through March 1, and Frey was paid around $75,000 in 2017.

Frey’s salary was $90,000 in 2018 and in October the board approved a new legal assistant position with an annual salary of $30,547, though the position was never filled.