Purcellville Town Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to appoint the former Warrenton town attorney as its interim town attorney for an undefined period of time.
Hank Day, a private practice lawyer in Warrenton and Fairfax, will temporarily fill the spot of Town Attorney Sally Hankins, who was placed on administrative leave Dec. 29 pending the outcome of an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against her.
The town will pay Day $350 an hour for a maximum of 24 hours each week. He will remain in the position until the investigation on Hankins is complete.
According to a staff report, Day’s appointment “is necessary to ensure Town Council projects, contract development, review and interpretation of complex personnel actions, ordinance interpretation and day to day legal questions which arise are appropriately addressed in conjunction with State Code and Town Ordinances.”
Interim Town Manager John Anzivino recommended Day for the position, having known him from his time in public service including as town manager in Warrenton. His recommendation followed a review of five other potential candidates, which were referred to him by County Attorney Leo Rogers. Anzivino determined that none of those attorneys were qualified for the role because they all either didn’t have up-to-date bar licenses, had conflicts with current clients, had pre-existing travel plans in January, or lived too far from town.
Anzivino also reached out to Wilson Elser, the law firm leading the town’s four ongoing investigations. The firm declined to offer one of its attorneys for the interim spot, however, because of a possible conflict of interest.
Day is a 1982 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law. He was the town attorney in Warrenton from 1993 to 2002 and since 2005 has represented the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority.
He is the fourth person to hold an interim position among the town’s top managers, along with Interim Police Chief Joe Schroek, Interim Public Works Director Dale Lehnig and Anzivino. Police Chief Cynthia McAllister and previous interim town manager Alex Venegas, who was promoted from his job as Public Works director, also are subjects of investigations into their conduct.