MONCKS CORNER — Former Deputy Solicitor Blair Jennings' time away from Berkeley County government may be short-lived, and he could soon be back handling some prosecutions and working for law enforcement.
County Supervisor Dan Davis said Wednesday he has discussed hiring Jennings but that it would be on a short-term basis not to go beyond June 2008, the end of the fiscal year.
The job being considered would be far-ranging in scope, with Jennings working for both the county attorney's office and also the Sheriff's Office, Davis said.
Among his proposed duties would be assisting in deputy training, pursuing asset forfeitures, working magistrate court prosecutions and as a press spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, Davis said.
The job would officially be under the county attorney, Davis added, with Jennings picking up some of the duties that currently get contracted out to attorneys in private practice. Some of those jobs include pursuing fines and forfeitures.
Davis warned that all discussions about the hiring are preliminary, and that he planned to raise the issue Monday for County Council's consideration.
"This is just brainstorming at this point," he said.
Last week, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson forced Jennings to resign his post as head prosecutor for Berkeley County, partly because of his announced run for solicitor. She questioned his dedication to her new administration after she took over in the wake of Ralph Hoisington's death in June. Both were hired by Hoisington to be his top lieutenants.
At the time of his exit Friday, Jennings said he was already exploring options in the public sector but did not provide details.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Jennings said the job would be an opportunity to return to prosecutions, which is what he said was his calling. Berkeley County officials have not consulted Wilson about what is being considered for Jennings, she said during an interview.
Davis said the county has worked closely with Jennings in the past and felt his knowledge and experience could be beneficial in a couple of areas.
"There's nothing concrete yet," Davis stressed. "It's very, very preliminary."
County Council would have to approve the hiring and some already available funds would have to be shifted, Davis said. A salary has not yet been negotiated, he added.
Jennings and Wilson could face each other in next June's Republican primary for the solicitor's job. Jennings has officially launched a bid, while Wilson is still considering a run. Filing for the primary opens in March. The 9th Circuit includes Charleston and Berkeley counties.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551 or email@example.com.