Middletown may be hiring new law director in 2017

Middletown Law Director Les Landen may step down in October 2017, and city government is working on succession plans to prepare for the possible departure.

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Middletown Law Director Les Landen may step down in October 2017, and city government is working on succession plans to prepare for the possible departure.

Les Landen, the current law director, may retire in 2017.

Middletown Law Director Les Landen may step down in October of 2017, and city government is working on succession plans to prepare for his possible departure, City Manager Doug Adkins told city council last week.

“Law department is probably going to be one of the biggest changes, not necessarily in dollars, but in staff, that you’re going to see in 2017,” Adkins said during a budget presentation. “You’re going to see a turnover of almost every person we’ve got over the next two or three years.”

The law department handles civil issues for the city and union negotiations. It also includes the city’s human resources department.

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“Les, if he follows through … is due to retire October of ‘17,” Adkins said of Landen, who is paid $104,355 annually. “We will have to continue to work on that. We are therefore keeping all of the other assistant law directors rotating in civil issues, city council meetings, union negotiations, human resources, so that we have a pool of people available to handle everything that goes after he retires.”

Two part-time employees are in the city’s human resources department, which is within the law department, so it’s important to “get all the institutional knowledge that we can out of Les” and the human resources people as possible, Adkins said.

“We’ve got a big transition year in ‘17,” Adkins said.

Landen, a Miami University graduate who completed nearly all his class work at the Middletown campus, declined to comment.

“He said right now he’s not ready to discuss anything, because nothing is set, an official date or anything,” said Julie Owsley, an assistant in the city’s law department.

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