The City Council hired a new attorney Thursday after terminating the city’s contract with longtime attorney Don Rafferty in June.
Council members, in a 4-0 vote, chose Trent Favre to fill the city’s legal counsel role, Councilman-at-large Mike Favre, who is not related to the attorney, said. Absent from the meeting were council members Lonnie Falgout, Wendy McDonald and Doug Seal.
Favre is a Bay St. Louis native with more than 17 years of legal experience. He is a partner at Jones Walker law firm in Gulfport and serves as the attorney for Hancock Medical Center.
Favre’s hiring appears to have satisfied both the administration and the council, which have long been at odds over numerous controversies, including the council’s most recent move to unseat Rafferty.
The council “canned” Rafferty at a June 23 meeting, Councilman Lonnie Falgout said in a July interview.
Rafferty was not technically fired. The council simply stopped paying him after announcing it would not renew his contract, a contract which Rafferty and Mayor Les Fillingame asserted was improper. The council then changed the position’s residency requirements, mandating the city attorney live in Hancock County. Rafferty lives in Harrison County.
Those moves came after years of heated, and often public, disputes between several council members and Rafferty, whom they saw as serving the interests of the mayor over the interests of the council. When Councilman Joey Boudin became council president earlier this year, he ordered Rafferty to sit on the other side of the room from the mayor during meetings.
Favre has expertise health-care law, governmental law and commercial litigation, and works with state and county organizations including state-funded medical centers, E-911 agencies, and economic and land development agencies.