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Whitten Resigns as EDA Counsel on Workforce Housing Project

2 June 2017 News

On May 31, Warren County Attorney Dan Whitten confirmed that he has withdrawn as Warren County Economic Development Authority counsel regarding the workforce housing project. Whitten explained that since questions about the project have been raised by several supervisors, he decided to withdraw from EDA representation to avoid any conflict of interest.

At the May 16 board of supervisors meeting, Whitten invoked attorney-client privilege in declining to answer questions from Shenandoah District Supervisor Tom Sayre about the workforce housing project. Sayre asked Whitten if he had been aware of a March 1, 2017 deadline attached to a confidential agreement regarding the project.

The fact that deadline was not met, added a $445,000 purchase price to the EDA’s project costs. The construction start-up deadline was not revealed by the EDA until two months after it lapsed.

Whitten noted that as county attorney, representation of the county and its interests as determined by its elected board is his primary legal responsibility. The county attorney has generally also served as the EDA’s attorney on legal matters.

EDA officials are scheduled to meet with the supervisors at a June 6 work session, following the board’s 9:00am morning meeting.

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