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Interim city attorney named

Helivi Holland’s last day as Suffolk’s city attorney was filled with praise as City Council members and others lauded her achievements and wished her well in her new position as a new general district court judge.

In the meantime, council moved quickly to name an interim city attorney, appointing William E. Hutchings Jr. to the position.

His appointment took effect March 3, and he will make $152,800.

Councilman Roger Fawcett, in addressing remarks toward the outgoing Holland during the council’s meeting, said the city will be in good hands with its interim city attorney.

“You’ve left us with a good interim with William,” Fawcett said. “We know William’s going to do a great job.”

Hutchings received a Bachelor of Science in political science from Old Dominion University in 1995 and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School in 2002. Before coming to Suffolk, he was in private practice and represented clients in Fairfax County and Washington, D.C.

Hutchings became assistant city attorney in 2006 and was appointed deputy city attorney in 2010.

Before the meeting ended, councilmembers shared their thoughts on Holland’s tenure with the city, and her future on the court, with Mayor Mike Duman joking that he wanted the first “get out of jail free” card.

Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett recalled knowing Holland since she was young.

“Your father and I, we worked together, rode together, and he didn’t have a boy, so he tried to name you as close to his name as he could get so he could have that name still out there,” Bennett said.

Said Fawcett: “This is your childhood dream. You’ve worked your way all the way to something you’ve been wanting to do.”

“Helivi, I want to thank you for your service and your friendship and all that you’ve done,” said Councilman Donald Goldberg. “I wish you well on your journey. I know you’ll do just great. You’ll be a great judge, just a great judge.”

Councilman Lue Ward said he appreciated the concern Holland showed on various issues he brought up.

“I know you said something like, what you tried to do was tell us the truth about the law,” Ward said. “And I think you did a good job in doing that. And I know you represented not only the city but (also) your family well. I know your mother is proud of you, and I know you’ve got a lot of other people proud of you as well.”

Holland, noted Councilman Tim Johnson, was always quick with a return call.

“We appreciate what you’ve done for our city,” Johnson said, “and we know you love our city still.”