Paul Wisor to step down as Avon town attorney
Town Council will consider hiring a new law firm at its next meeting
After serving as the town of Avon’s attorney since July 2019, Paul Wisor is leaving his position to pursue a different opportunity. Wisor is also leaving his position at Garfield & Hecht, where he has worked since 2018.
“I’ve been the town of Mountain Village town attorney and they offered me the opportunity to come in house in that role and have also made me the interim town manager,” Wisor said, adding that he is leaving his current positions, with the support of Garfield & Hecht, to pursue this new opportunity.
Wisor has served as the attorney for the town of Mountain Village — which is located in San Miguel County, near Telluride Ski Resort — since October 2020.
His last official act as the town of Avon’s attorney will be an executive session Friday afternoon as part of the Avon Town Council’s budget retreat. This executive session, according to the packet for the meeting, is “for the purpose of receiving legal advice regarding strategies to combat the spread of COVID-19 among town staff and the community as a whole.”
Garfield & Hecht, as well as Wisor, in his role as Avon’s town attorney, was involved in taking the contentious recall signature matter to district court. The town filed its initial complaint on Dec. 1, 2020 against the Avon Recall Committee, asking the district court judge to rule on whether the committee had submitted enough voter signatures to trigger a recall. Garfield & Hecht was listed on the complaint as the attorneys for the plaintiff.
The basis of the town’s argument was that the current state statute violated First and 14th amendment rights.
Ultimately, District Court Judge Russell H. Granger ruled in favor of the committee. And after some back and forth by the Town Council on whether to appeal the decision, council voted to go forward with the recall election. Throughout the matter, members and volunteers of the Avon Recall Committee had called for Wisor to be fired as the town attorney. The election will be held Nov. 2 in coordination with the county election.
Wisor was the third town attorney appointed in Avon in the last 18 years, preceded by Eric Heil, who stepped down to serve in his current role as town manager.
“With the respect to the town of Avon, I’ve really appreciated my time there. The staff is incredible and council works incredibly hard on their behalf,” Wisor said. “I think that the community is lucky to have Eric Heil serving as the town manager. He does a great job for the community and they’re in great hands with him.”
The Avon Town Council will begin the process of hiring a new firm and attorney to represent the town at its next regular council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 28.
According the Heil, an item will be added to the meeting agenda for the “consideration of a retainer agreement with Karp Neu Hanlon.”
Heil said that Karp Neu Hanlon was one of the law firms previously considered and interviewed when the town last went through the process in 2019 and selected Garfield & Hecht and Wisor.
Ultimately, the Town Council will make the final decision on what firm will serve as legal representation for the town. Heil said that the Town Council will select a firm to hire for representation, and then a specific attorney will be designated from that firm as the town attorney.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.