by Max Brantley
Charles Ormond of Morrilton asked for an attorney general's opinion regarding Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola's work as a lawyer for some other governmental entities. The summary of the official opinion:
QUESTION: Once Mark Stodola is sworn in as the mayor of Little Rock, would it be a conflict of interest for him to continue to serve as an attorney representing Perry County?
RESPONSE: In my opinion, Mayor Stodola would not be under any blanket proscription against continuing to represent Perry County since his accession to the office of mayor. However, dependingupon the scope of Mayor Stodola's representation of the county, see A.C.A. 16-21-114 (Repl.1999) (authorizing the quorum court to select a county attorney to handle "all civil actions" involving the county), and further depending upon the facts of each particular case, he might be obliged in certain instances to recuse both from representing the county and from voting as an ex officio member of the Little Rock board of directors. One such instance might indeed be the example you have recited in the factual background giving rise to your question -- namely, if Perry County were disposed to promote development around Lake Maumelle, which lies partially in the county, whereas the City of Little Rock were inclined to oppose suchdevelopment in order to protect its water supply from possible pollution.