Rhea’s appointment is contingent upon the council’s approval of a contract at Monday’s regular meeting.
Members of a subcommittee interviewed seven attorneys interested in the position and ultimately recommended Rhea based on his municipal experience and lower billing rate.
“It came down to experience and dollars,” said Councilman Derek Raulerson, who served on the hiring subcommittee. “Based on the information, we were given, compared to all the others, we’ll save about $40 per hour by bringing in this individual.”
Councilwoman Sandra Sudduth, who interviewed Rhea before the final decision, said she liked that he had experience working with other cities about the same size as Jacksonville. “He seems to be a person that you can talk to, that’s available,” she added.
According to a profile on the website for his firm Rhea, Boyd and Rhea, Rhea is a 1984 graduate of the University of Alabama who subsequently earned his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1989. As a former member of the Alabama Army National Guard, Rhea also represents veterans for service-related claims in addition to his work in municipal law.