County Attorney Resigns Post
County Attorney Lesley Moxley has resigned to accept a similar position in Macon County.
Moxley announced her resignation at the end of the Monday afternoon meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
"I was hard pressed to find a place more beautiful than Moore County, but Macon County is a beautiful place," she said after the meeting.
Moxley will work through November and will report for her new duties in Macon County in December. Her annual salary will be $123,000, which is more than she makes in Moore County.
A Wake Forest Law School graduate, Moxley is the first person to serve as a full-time county attorney.
She assumed those duties in January 2000, after serving on a part-time basis as assistant to former Gov. James E. Holshouser Jr., who had been part-time county attorney for several years.
At that time, Moxley was practicing with Holshouser's firm in Pinehurst.
Board Chairman David J. Cummings thanked Moxley for her service.
"You've done an excellent job here," Cummings said. "We'll miss you and wish you well."
Moxley called attention to a 60-day notification clause in her contract and asked the board for a release from that provision. The motion was approved.
A native of Eastern North Carolina, Moxley now resides in Pinehurst. Her only son, Andy, is a freshman at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Macon County is in the southwestern corner of North Carolina in the mountains and, as such, is a tourism destination. Moxley said her brother now owns property there, and this was among the attractions for the new position.
As county attorney, Moxley supervises a staff of at least three other attorneys. She is responsible for overseeing hundreds of contracts, leases, legal resolutions and other agreements to which the county is subject on a regular basis.
She interprets new legislation for the board and attends each board meeting to provide counsel on a multitude of legal issues raised by the commissioners, staff or constituents. Her office also advises other county departments and agencies, including the Department of Planning and Community Development.
Two of the staff attorneys in her office work full time at specific duties -- one serving the Department of Social Services, the other the Child Support Enforcement Agency. These positions were already funded on a full-time basis when the county made the decision to hire a full-time attorney and to create one office with all attorneys serving under the county attorney's direction.
The commissioners did not discuss plans to hire a replacement for Moxley at the Monday meeting. However, it is expected that they will defer action until the board is reorganized at the Dec. 4 meeting, when three new commissioners are sworn into office and new officers are elected. The board has followed a similar process in selection of a county manager.
County attorney is one of four positions filled directly by the commissioners. The others are county manager, clerk to the board and tax administrator.
Moxley is the third top county official to resign this year to accept positions in western counties.
Early in the year County Manager Steve Wyatt left to become county manager in Henderson County, and Interim Manager David Cotton, formerly assistant manager, resigned several weeks ago to become Haywood County manager.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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