A huge asset lost: City begins search for new attorney following Romney’s suspended license
Regulatory infraction leads to three-year suspension of license for City Attorney, who served 18 years in role
In a stunning, and quickly-developing turn of events, the City of Craig has to immediately begin searching for a new city attorney following the three-year suspension of license for Sherman Romney.
Romney announced his resignation to City Council Tuesday night during an Executive Session, effective April 14. Due to a regulatory infraction that was found in an audit, the State of Colorado suspended Romney’s license for three years.
“Attorneys are a self-regulated profession, so we have our own attorney regulation process,” Romney told the Craig Press Wednesday. “That’s what I’ve been through. Ive put in 26 years in practice and never had a mark on my record, so it’s kind of hard to swallow.”
Romney entered into stipulation and agreed to a three-year suspension of his license in last three weeks. Romney said he advised City Manager Peter Brixius a week or so ago, and a couple of days after that let Mayor Ogden know.
“For a short period of time when my practice struggled financially, I transferred prepaid fees from my trust account into my operating account prematurely to cover overhead expenses and payroll,” Romney said. “Although no clients ever lost any money, every dollar was earned by me and I restored the money to my trust account, it was a clear violation of my professional responsibilities. I fully cooperated during the investigation and agreed to a three-year suspension of my license.”
Romney will resign from his post as City Attorney, and will have to close up his private practice, Romney Law Office on W. Victory Way.
“It’s been awful; we’ve raised our kids here, and have a lot of good friends here,” Romney said. “I’ve had wonderful clients over the years. It’s been very difficult for me and my family. My wife and I are looking at our options. We would like to stay, but we’ll just have to see if that’s possible. We have three children and some grandchildren; some are here and some are out of state, so we’ll see what our options are.”
The loss of Romney is a large one for the City of Craig. Having served as City Attorney on and off for 18 years (1996-2003, and then 2011-present), Romney was well-versed in local politics and had a legal answer for seemingly everything. The loss of a person like Romney is upsetting and shocking for those that have worked closely with him over the years.
“I’m kind of heartbroken,” Councilman Paul James said. “He’s been a huge asset to the city, absolutely. Even before I was on city council, I worked with him pretty extensively, talking about city charter. There was never a question he couldn’t answer. It’s pretty upsetting to lose an asset like Sherman.”
Romney says will help the city in its search for a new attorney as much as he can moving forward. The loss of his license to practice in the state of Colorado weighs on him heavily, but the ability to help others – especially in a rural area like Craig for the last 26 years – is what causes the most heartache with Romney in light of the latest developments.
“I enjoy helping people resolve problems, and that’s really what an attorney does; either resolve or avoid problems through planning,” Romney said. “My favorite part of is getting to know my clients and helping them through any situation they’re working on. And you know, I always felt like Craig and rural areas are under-served, so I have enjoyed being a main street attorney and pretty down to earth person that can relate well to my clients; that’s always been satisfying for me.”
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