Since former County Attorney Mark Davis tendered his resignation in April to go into private practice, applications have been coming in. Eleven were received from applicants as far away as Kentucky.
The field was narrowed during last week's Board of County Commission meeting.
"I would like to interview the top five," said Commission Chair Cecilia Jones.
However, she was outvoted as Commissioners voted to interview the top three, all of whom are women with outstanding resumes.
The applicant receiving the most votes was Sidney Noyes of Freeport who served as Assistant County Attorney under Davis and is filling the position until a hire is made. She received five votes.
Noyes is a 2007 cum laude graduate of the University of Florida grad with a bachelor of arts in political science and women's studies. She lists her former boss as a reference.
Noyes worked as an assistant Public Defender in the second Circuit Court in Tallahassee from 2010 to 2013, then for Andrews and Davis law firm from 2013 to 2014 representing clients in civil and criminal litigation and family law. Since 2014 Noyes assisted County Attorney Mark Davis in providing legal advice and representation to the BCC and staff, including representing them in civil litigation.
The next two applicants both received three votes.
DeFuniak Springs resident Rene Youell is also familiar with the workings of Walton County Board of County Commission meetings.
Youell currently represents the South Walton Fire District, South Walton Mosquito Control, Liberty and Argyle Fire Districts. She also represents the Walton County Code Enforcement Board, which is a quasi-judicial board handling hearings on code violations and enforcement issues. She served as attorney for the Planning and Zoning Board in Cinco Bayou from 1994-1997. She is also a tenured college professor who lectured in several areas of the law.
Youell is a graduate of Florida State University with bachelor degrees in economics and political science. She earned her law degree from Mississippi College in May 1987 and is licensed in Florida and Mississippi.
Youell has owned her own law firm since 2011. Her practice is general counsel.
Tallahassee resident Carly Hermanson earned a bachelor of arts in history in 2002 with a minor in criminology from the University of Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a law degree in the top 25 percent of her class in 2005. She was admitted to the Florida Bar the same year.
Hermanson worked at the Florida Department of Education, as a Senate intern, for the Attorney General, and in the Governor's office advising on state issues from 2008-2012. She also worked for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity as general counsel from 2012-2017 advising on land-use planning and economic incentives, and with community development where she dealt with planning issues.
Interviews will take place July 12 and is expected to be on the BCC agenda for July 25 when a final vote will be taken.