Commissioners divided on rural lawyer recruitment program

Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Attorney Clay Anderson asked Hand County Commissioners to reconsider his request for their participation in the South Dakota Recruitment Assistance Pilot Program at their Thursday, June 5 meeting. However, the commission failed to provide the answer Anderson was looking for, when the vote to approve the funding ended in a tie, thus postponing the decision until the July commissioners meeting, when Chairman J.D. Wangsness will be allowed to cast the tie breaking vote.

Anderson told commissioners that he had been unprepared for what had happened at the May 13 meeting, when Commissioner Luke Wernsmann told him that the county was not interested in participating in the program. “We use bonds for people we don’t trust. I guess I am kind of old fashioned. My bond is my word, and I expect that of others, too,” said Anderson, who believed the commissioners had given every indication at prior meetings that they would enter into the agreement along with the Unified Judicial System (UJS) and the State Bar of South Dakota. “I would like for us to start over and go from here,” stated Anderson. “I came here to help the county, not fight it.”