County Council considers acting county attorney to fill job permanently

Acting County Attorney John Markovs told the County Council on Tuesday that if he were appointed to fill the job permanently, he would focus on communication, the retention and hiring of exceptional lawyers, and supporting the priorities of the council.

“[One of my priorities] is to maintain a high level of communication with the County Council, and early communication … . We need to increase our communication. I made an effort this year of sending over a guide whenever anything happens in a court case or anything controversial,” Markovs said. “My second priority is I want to ensure the county attorney’s office continues to retain exceptional lawyers and hire exceptional lawyers and staff.”

Markovs, who had been nominated by County Executive Marc Elrich for the permanent post, faced questions from council members about his experience and how he would respond to different situations. Markovs was deputy county attorney when he was appointed by Elrich to serve as acting county attorney in February after the retirement of Marc Hansen, who had served as county attorney for 12 years.

County Chief Administrative Officer Rich Madeleno said Markovs is “the right person to be the county attorney right now” because while in his current role, he has served as the county government’s key representative “in a series of our highest profile, most controversial and most consequential cases.”

According to Madeleno, those cases include negotiations concerning the proposed mixed-use development known as Viva White Oak in the East County and serving as the liaison between the county attorney’s office and the state and federal governments in the embezzlement case involving Byung II “Peter” Bang, the former chief operating officer of the county’s now-defunct Department of Economic Development.

Council Vice President Evan Glass asked how the Markovs would respond to potentially high-profile litigation.

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