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Troy City Attorney Steps Down
Evans says hearing problems have led to struggles in the courtroom.
Former Troy City Attorney Charles Evans takes the stand during a hearing about the recall of Mayor Donald Banning on March 14, 2012. - Justin Franz/Flathead Beacon
For the second time in less than a year, Charles Evans is leaving his post as Troy’s city attorney.

But this time, it is of his own accord.

Evans submitted a letter of resignation to the city council in late September, saying he could no longer do his job due to deteriorating hearing. Now the town is looking for a new city attorney.

“I feel bad about it, but I’ve had hearing problems the last couple of years and it’s progressively gotten worse,” Evans said. “I probably shouldn’t have accepted the offer of employment this summer, but I thought I could help.”

Evans has a private practice in Libby, where he has worked since 1985. He first began practicing law in Utah in 1975.

Evans was one of the many pawns in a battle on Troy’s city council earlier this year when former Mayor Donald Banning terminated him as city attorney. Banning was recalled in a special election in May and Evans was reappointed to his post in July.

“I knew he had been having problems with his hearing, but I guess I was surprised,” Councilor Fran McCully said of Evan’s departure.

According to McCully, Evans will still be available to the city for 60 days, until a replacement is found.

Last week, City Clerk Tracy Rebo began that search, posting the job opening in a local paper. She said the mayor would interview and pick an appropriate candidate, before presenting them to the council.

“That’s the best we can do,” Rebo said.

Evans said he was sad to leave his job, but was worried he couldn’t properly defend his clients, including Troy Chief of Police Robert McLeod. In 2007, McLeod allegedly used excessive force on a suspect already in custody. Soon after the incident, the Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Council began investigating McLeod’s actions. Evans said a hearing on the matter is set for early next year.

Evans plans to continue practicing law, but avoid cases that could end up in court. Evans said he had purchased new hearing aids earlier this year, but it hasn’t made a difference in what he can hear.

“I can talk with people over the desk in my office,” he said. “I can prepare documents, but I’m just going to avoid court room settings.”

Rebo said she hopes to have the city attorney position filled within a few months.
 
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