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City changes counsel
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When the members of the Hinesville City Council emerged from a 30-minute, mid-meeting executive session Thursday, the verdict was in: Jeff Arnold was out, Linnie Darden was in.
Councilmembers took less than a minute to vote and unanimously appoint Darden the new city attorney, relieving Arnold of the position he has held for 16 years.
Arnold, a partner with the Arnold, Stafford, Randolph & Schaefer law firm in Hinesville, was not at the meeting, but had heard the news by late afternoon.
He had kinds words for the new administration, Darden and attorney Richard Braun, who was selected as deputy city attorney.
"I wish (Darden and Braun) the best and I wish Mayor Jim Thomas and the new council the best," Arnold said. "The selections made mirror and represent the growing diversity and strength of the city."
Darden, who is a partner with the Jones, Osteen and Jones law firm as well as the juvenile court judge for Liberty and Long counties, said he was elated about his new post.
"I feel very honored, very gratified to have the confidence of the entire council and the mayor in asking me to serve as the city attorney," he said. "I'm looking forward to having a great relationship and four years with what I consider to be a great city council and a great mayor."
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