Garland attorney resigns

By: By Chase Jordan -

GARLAND — After years of assisting the town with many legal matters, Micheal Porter is stepping down from the position.

Porter, the boards attorney, submitted a letter of resignation to Garland officials. Mayor Winifred Murphy read the letter to her colleagues during a Tuesday meeting.

In the letter, Porter said it was a pleasure to represent the town for almost four and meeting the mayor, commissioners and residents of Garland. But due to a heavy caseload and court schedule, Porter wrote that he simply does not have enough time to devote to the board.

“I would like to thank everyone for blessing me with the opportunity to have served and being available to consult with you regarding any matters,” Porter stated.

Murphy said pending legal matters and files will be transferred to the next lawyer. The board unanimously accepted the resignation.

“I hate to see him leave,” Commissioner S.J. Smith.

Following a public interview process, Porter was selected as the town’s attorney in June 2014. The search began after former town attorney W. Joel Starling Jr. submitted a letter of resignation to Murphy and the Garland Board of Commissioners, noting personal reasons.

Some of Porter’s practices include business litigation, personal injury, employment disputes and administrative or regulatory law matters. He has handled many personal injury and wrongful death cases as a plaintiff’s attorney and as an insurance defense attorney for leading insurance carriers. Some of them include Allstate, Geico, N.C. Farm Bureau and Builders Mutual.For legal matters, Porter has represented governmental clients such as the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cape Fear Valley Hospital and the Public Works Commission.

Porter has a bachelor’s degree from Methodist College and earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law.

Garland commissioners are currently searching for Porter’s replacement. During the meeting, commissioners discussed suggestions for the next attorney. But they will have to be notified first before the interview process and announcement is made.

“It would help if we could get someone with municipal experience,” Murphy said. “If we had someone with municipal experience, they can answer spot-on questions for us.”

Former Board Attorney Michael Porter talks to the Garland Commissioners during a meeting. Board Attorney Michael Porter talks to the Garland Commissioners during a meeting.
Spent more than three years with board; search on for replacement

By Chase Jordan