Warren County names Whitten its attorney

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — The "interim" was stripped off Dan Whitten's title, as the Board of Supervisors named him county attorney at its meeting last week.

Whitten served as the interim county attorney since Blair Mitchell retired in May of this year. Previously, he was the countyís first full-time assistant attorney since February 2010.

He got an early start in local government, and was employed as the assistant county attorney nine months after graduation. As most young lawyers enter private law firms, Whitten was encouraged by his time at William and Mary to go another path.

As assistant county attorney, Whitten represented the planning department and planning commission and was in charge of debt collection and zoning enforcement. During that time, he feels he was properly trained to assume the county attorney position.

"Blair always prepared me to take over for him, that was always his long-term goal. So he gave me a lot of work that normally an assistant county attorney wouldn't do," Whitten said.

Whitten's duties as county attorney will include litigation for the county, advising county departments, debt collection, prosecution of misdemeanors, animal control, zoning enforcement, reviewing contracts and processing FOIA requests. He will also represent the EDA, planning commission and board of supervisors.

The next big task is the redevelopment of the former Avtex site. Also, the office is always working on improving county facilities, the schools and the parks and recreation department.

"Just making sure that the level of service for citizens keeps improving, because that's what is drawing more people to come live in Warren County," Whitten said.

He is excited for the position and doesn't plan on leaving Warren County anytime soon. That, along with the fact that he is about to turn 34, is part of what he thinks went into the board's decision.

"I'm really excited about the position. Ever since I knew Blair was going to retire, I was really hoping that they would choose me. I think I will be able to serve them well, and I think they will be happy with my services," Whitten said.

The supervisors would like to see how a one-person office works, and the assistant county attorney position is not planned to be filled.

Whitten's new salary is $98,500, compared to Mitchell's $116,082. With a one-person office, the county is expecting to save about $100,000.

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