City-Parish President Joey Durel Wednesday appointed Michael Hebert to serve as the next city-parish attorney, pending approval by the City-Parish Council. If approved at the Jan. 25 council meeting, Hebert will replace outgoing C-P attorney Pat Ottinger, who announced his resignation in December after serving seven years in the post.
In a press release announcing the nomination, Durels says he “considered many different attorneys with whom I have worked over the past seven years as possible replacements for this important position. I took into consideration their qualifications, experience and whether or not they would even want the job. Because of his vast experience in governmental law, Mike Hebert stood out in the crowd. I am very pleased that Mike has agreed to assume responsibility as director of the Legal Department and as city-parish attorney.”
Hebert has served as an assistant C-P attorney and was the Lafayette city attorney during the final term of Lafayette Mayor Kenny Bowen pre-consolidation. He has infrequently advised the current council in Ottinger’s stead when the former was unable to make meetings.
Hebert is a 1985 graduate of LSU’s law school and is a partner with the New Orleans-based law firm Milling Benson Woodward, which has an office in Lafayette. According to Durel’s office, Hebert’s primary areas of pracice include consulting and litigation in the areas of employment law, telecommunications, information technology law, public utility law, municipal law, construction law, business disputes and governmental relations.
Ottinger also endorses the nomination in the same press release: “I am very gratified that Joey has selected Mike Hebert for this position and am equally pleased that Mike has agreed to serve in this capacity. Mike has been an important confidant and colleague to me during my tenure and has assisted me greatly in the performance of my duties. No person has such a depth of experience and knowledge of the workings of municipal and parish government as does Mike Hebert. I am confident that he will serve Lafayette well in this capacity, and I commit to assist him in any way in the transition and beyond.”
In a phone interview, Durel says Hebert will bring integrity to the job. “I don’t think there’s an attorney in Lafayette who has done more to earn the position — and want it — than Mike,” Durel says. “I was there when he argued before the state supreme court for the fiber issue. He’s done a lot of LUS work, and he’s probably one of the top annexation attorneys in the state. And he’s just a good guy. ...I’ve heard nothing but praise for him.”