ATTORNEY ERIC Morris was appointed as Shiawassee County’s corporate counsel of record on Thursday, March 16. Morris has worked with Shiawassee County as a member of Braun Kendrick Attorneys at Law since August of 2021, having taken over for the county’s former corporate counsel, Ryan Painter, who resigned for personal/family reasons.

   Morris can be seen with Shiawassee County commissioner Greg Brodeur on Wednesday, March 15 at the Surbeck Building in Corunna.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)


  The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners appointed Eric Morris as the county’s corporate counsel of record on Thursday, March 16. Morris has worked as the county’s municipal counsel, through Braun Kendrick Attorneys at Law of Saginaw, for the past two years. As a recently hired member of the Shiawassee County Public Defender’s Office, 75 percent of Morris’ salary will be covered by state grant funding. The other 25 percent, or $26,580, plus any overtime accrued in his work as the county’s corporate counsel, will come from the county’s General Fund.

  The county annually shells out between $110,000 and $150,000 for the services of outside legal counsel. By putting Morris in the public defender’s office, the county could save upwards of $100,000 annually.

   “The default position under the law, for a county that does not have an outside firm, is that the prosecutor’s office serves as corporate counsel, and we originally looked at putting Eric in the Prosecutor’s Office,” explained county coordinator Dr. Brian Boggs. “He would do prosecution work and then be our corporate counsel for 25 percent of the time. However, in that case, the General Fund has to pay for both sides of the equation. This way, the grant is paying for 75 percent of his time.”

   Dr. Boggs expects 2024 to be a “leaner budget year,” so he has been looking for different ways to reduce expenses now to be able to reallocate those funds to next year’s budget, to maintain the county’s staff without further layoffs.

   “I think this is a wonderful idea,” shared Board of Commissioners chairperson Greg Brodeur. “Eric has been terrific for us, and for him to actually come on board and be able to work part-time as our corporate attorney, with all his knowledge and skills, and the bulk of his time being spent in the public defender’s office, we’re going to save a tremendous amount of money, and we’re going to be able to fill a slot over at the public defender’s office. This is just the kind of creative thinking that made us want to keep Dr. Boggs. I couldn’t be happier.”

Commissioners Appoint New Corporate Counsel  was last modified: March 21st, 2023 by Karen Elford