Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees accepted the selection of a new attorney, Derk Beckerleg of Secrest Wardle, to replace retiring township attorney Bill Hampton, at their meeting on Monday, November 26.
“As this board knows, attorney Bill Hampton is retiring December 31,” township supervisor Leo Savoie said. “We put a committee together of Bill Hampton, Dani Walsh and Neil Barnett,” to review the submissions the township had received for a new attorney after they put out a request for proposal (RFP) for a replacement.
Savoie said nine firms responded to their RFP, and three were selected as finalists.
“Our standards are very high,” said Barnett, as they are seeking municipal, circuit court and appellate court experience, as well as understanding of Bloomfield Township. They were also seeking someone who would be available to be at the township's board meetings, as well as who was willing to offer in-house hours, to be available to staff, at a fee that was in accordance with the township's fee structure.
“It was the unanimous decision of Dani, Bill and I, of Secrest Wardle, of Derk Beckerleg, as the primary attorney, with Mark Roberts and Nancy Cooper Green as back up, to be our counsel,” Barnett said.
“They were all great firms, but we could immediately get rid of five,” Walsh said, noting that several did not comply with items on the township's RFP. “It was unanimous for all three of us to choose Secrest Wardle. It was a glaring obvious choice, from cost, office hours circuit court – where most of our work is done. This was the only one where if Derk has a lot of experience, and the next one does, and the one after.
“When you look at the RFP, every single thing was answered and fulfilled,” she said.
Savoie said no vote was necessary, and directed Hampton to negotiate the contract.