FLORENCE- Oracle resident James P. Walsh will take over the reigns of the County Attorney's Office from Carter Olson, who has resigned to take a seat on the Pinal County Superior Court.
A five member citizens screening committee recommended Walsh to the Supervisors after a two week review of qualifications and an interview.
William McLean, a member of the screening committee, said the County received only one application for the position. It was determined by the committee that Walsh had the appropriate qualifications to take over the County Attorney's office. The qualifications include being a lawyer in good standing with the Arizona State Bar and a registered Democrat (since Olson was elected as a Democrat to the office).
"I tell you that application is from an individual who has just an incredible background," McLean said. "It is with a great deal of pride on behalf of our committee that I recommend James P. Walsh for the position."
Walsh has worked for Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard since 2003 as Chief Deputy. He also has experience supervising and managing a public law firm in civil and criminal practice.
Outgoing County Attorney Olson also recommended Walsh to the position as he took the dais with the Supervisors.
Olson said there are two questions that surface when recommending a person for the job-"Do they have the will and the qualifications," he rhetorically asked. The County Attorney explained that the job entails long hours and great stress. "It is much to ask anyone to take on this important responsibility," he said.
In summing up his recommendation, Olson said: "What stands before you is an extraordinary candidate in James P. Walsh. In all humility, better qualified to take on this position than I was 11 years ago when I was appointed by this body to the County Attorney position. But the challenges now are much greater than 11 years ago-the challenges are much more complex."
Following the recommendations, the Supervisors unanimously approved the appointment of Walsh as the new County Attorney. He will take over the position when Olson is sworn in to the Superior Court on Friday, May 18.
Following his appointment as County Attorney, Walsh said he looks forward to tackling the job and does not plan any major changes in the office.
"This is an experienced office," Walsh replied. "Stability and continuity are two of the most important things you want in an office such as this, especially with all the changes that are going on in this county."