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October 9, 2020

Tracy Gallehr appointed new county attorney

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Tracy A. Gallehr, 51, joined the county attorney’s office as a part-time clerk in 1995. Since graduating from Fauquier High School in 1986, she has earned bachelor’s, law and master's degrees.
The board felt that Mrs. Gallehr was uniquely qualified for the position due to her knowledge and experience, having been a part of the county attorney’s office for over two decades.
— County Administrator Paul S. McCulla
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier government has a new county attorney.

The board of supervisors Thursday unanimously promoted Tracy A. Gallehr, 51, from deputy county attorney to the top job.

Mrs. Gallehr, whose appointment takes effect Oct. 31, will earn $160,000. As deputy, the Warrenton resident earns $132,719.

“We think this is a wonderful choice,” supervisors’ Chairwoman Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall District) said moments after the board made the hire at its meeting Thursday.

Mrs. Gallehr will succeed Kevin J. Burke, 58, whose retirement takes effect Nov. 1. Mr. Burke, who joined the office in 1991, earns $166,713 per year.

The office represents and advises Fauquier’s board of supervisors, planning commission, board of zoning appeals and all other boards, commissions, departments, constitutional officers and employees on legal issues related to government business.

The county attorney works directly with the supervisors, who meet the second Thursday of the month.

Both the county administrator and the county attorney serve “at the pleasure of” the supervisors — the only county employees who do so.

Mrs. Gallehr’s three-page contract with the supervisors states that “If at any time the board of supervisors terminates the employment of the county attorney, she will be entitled to severance pay as provided” by county policy, “plus two months for each year in which she served as County Attorney, up to a maximum of 12-months’ salary.”

The agreement adds that if the supervisors fire Mrs. Gallehr “due to her conviction of any illegal act involving a crime of moral turpitude or personal gain,” the board would have no “obligation” to honor the severance package.

Mrs. Gallehr started in the county attorney’s office in 1995 as a part-time clerk while attending George Mason University’s law school. She got a juris doctor there in 1997.

Two years later, Mrs. Gallehr became assistant county attorney. Mr. Burke promoted her to deputy in 2005. The office has two other lawyers.

Mrs. Gallehr has a master’s degree in public administration (2015) and bachelor’s degree in biology (1991) from George Mason. In 1986, she graduated from Fauquier High School.

Two weeks ago, County Administrator Paul S. McCulla said it could take up to two months to hire a new county attorney.

A panel including “at least two supervisors,” probably county Human Resources Department Director Janelle Downes and perhaps himself would review job applications and conduct candidate interviews, the county administrator said.

But, the board abandoned that selection process because the county received just four applications after advertising the position for 28 days, Mr. McCulla wrote in an email.

Mrs. Gallehr and one other applicant “met the criteria or qualifications” for the job, he said.

“The board felt that Mrs. Gallehr was uniquely qualified for the position due to her knowledge and experience, having been a part of the county attorney’s office for over two decades,” the county administrator said.

In other matters Thursday, the supervisors awarded a $4.4-million construction contract to Lorton-based Shirley Contracting Co. for the long-awaited Marshall Main Street renovations.

The block-long improvements include:

• New sidewalks and crosswalks along Main Street from just east of Winchester Road (Route 17) to just west of Frost Street near the old IGA.

• New sidewalks and crosswalks on Winchester Road.

• Moving electrical, phone and cable TV lines underground, eliminating utility poles.

• New street trees, lamps, benches and landscaping.

Shirley Contracting could begin work on the $6.9-million project in January and complete it about a year later, Deputy County Administrator Erin Kozanecki said.

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.
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Jerome Fields · October 9, 2020 at 12:17 pm
All the best!
FreddieKrueger · October 9, 2020 at 10:01 am
Tracy Gallehr is an excellent choice to replace Mr. Burke. Congratulations to Tracy!
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