558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Wilson begins second stint as County Counsel
Jeff Wilson enjoys practicing government law and was eager to return to his former position
Jeff Wilson took over as Crook County Counsel on Dec. 31, 2012.
January 10, 2013
After a seven-year absence, Jeff Wilson has again taken over as the full-time Crook County Counsel.
“I really enjoy this kind of work,” Wilson said of his return. “I enjoy government law. It was an opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up.”
The position was vacated this past April, when the County dismissed Counsel Dave Gordon. The reason for his dismissal was not disclosed. Since that time, the County had sought the services of Wilson on a contractual basis while relying on full-time Assistant County Counsel Eric Blaine.
Wilson first served as Crook County Counsel from 2001 to 2005. At that time, the recession was still two years away and the County stayed busy.
“It was a very busy office,” he said. “There was a lot of business. There was a lot going on.”
Wilson has practiced private law for the majority of his 28-year career in Prineville. However, during his first stint as Crook County Counsel, he discovered a couple facets of government legal work that appealed to him, and encouraged his recent return.
Land use law, for example, struck a chord with him, and was something he worked with regularly because of the robust economy of the early 2000s. Wilson also found he enjoys procurement law.
“Governments are required to procure goods and services through a competitive process,” he said, “which includes advertising and bidding requirements. I enjoy the process — preparing documents and reviewing the documents. I enjoy the whole transactional work that goes on with government.”
In addition to those particular types of law practice, Wilson enjoys his primary role of advising the Crook County Court.
“I enjoy being a part of what’s going on in the county,” he said. “I enjoy being a part of local government.”
Crook County Judge Mike McCabe served on the County Court as a commissioner during Wilson’s first go-around, and is glad to have him back, and was pleasantly surprised that he applied.
“He has a lot of history in both city and county government,” McCabe said. “He gets stuff done, which is a big deal around here, because we have a lot of stuff going on all the time.”
Because of that workload, McCabe is pleased to once again fill the County Counsel position on a full-time basis and not leave all the work to one employee.
“Our junior counsel, Eric Blaine, has done a great job for us, but the workload is more than one person can take.”
Wilson agreed and anticipates plenty of work as he steps back into his former role.
“There is a lot going on and I suspect that there will continue to be more and more obligations of the County Counsel’s office as the county continues to grow and the economy improves,” he said.