City attorney will not seek re-appointment after election

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NATCHEZ — City Attorney Hyde Carby said Tuesday he will not seek re-appointment after the municipal elections.

Carby said he notified the mayor and aldermen Monday he plans to focus on his private law practice after this summer.

“I made this decision some time ago,” Carby said. “It has nothing to do with politics. I would do it if (Natchez Mayor Butch Brown) ran. It’s just time for me to move on.”

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Carby said he had always planned to make public his departure 90 days before the election, and his announcement was not in response to any other event in the city.

The beginning of a new administration is an ideal time for a new attorney to come on board, Carby said, making this a good time to bow out of re-appointment.

The mayor and board of aldermen appoint the city attorney.

Until the new mayor and board hire an attorney, Carby said he would be on hand to fill in.

“I will hang around as long as they want me to,” Carby said. “I really enjoyed working with the city.”

Brown said he recommended the board hire Carby because of his Natchez roots and impressive resumé.

“He interprets the law and practices law based on what was written,” Brown said. “If it’s there, it’s there, if not, it’s not. Good attorney.”

The new mayor and board, Brown said, should consider the maturity of a new candidate.

“That doesn’t mean old or young, but mature in the practice of law,” Brown said.

Ward 4 Alderman Tony Fields, who is running for mayor, said Carby was a valuable asset to the city.

“If elected, I was going to look to re-appoint Hyde as the city attorney,” Fields said. “So now, in the back of my mind, I’m going to have to start thinking about who would replace him.”

For Fields, a good candidate would be knowledgeable about municipal law and have good communication skills.

“My preference is somebody from Natchez,” Fields said. “I’m always looking to rely on people who are home-grown first, before I look outside for anything.”

Former Adams County Board of Supervisors President and mayoral candidate Darryl Grennell said he is already considering potential candidates, and would begin interviews as quickly as possible if elected.

“What I want most from a city attorney is experienced, professional advice, and I want that advice to be as objective as possible,” Grennell said. “In the past, the post of city attorney has occasionally become politicized.”

Candidate and former city technology director Eric Junkin said if he is elected, he might not even become directly involved in the search to fill the position of city attorney.

“I’m not going to be pushy about a selection,” Junkin said. “Part of my underlying philosophy of my campaign is to do the job the mayor’s supposed to do and let the (aldermen) do their job and let the department heads do their jobs.”

That said, Junkin said he was disappointed Carby wouldn’t continue on as city attorney.

“He’s young and I think we need young people in the system,” Junkin said.