Sixteen people have applied for the job of assistant county attorney.
Now, it will be up to County Attorney Garth Coller and his staff to sift through the stack and decide who gets an invitation for an interview.
Coller will then negotiate a contract with the person he believes is the best fit for the job and make the hire.
It does not have to go before county commissioners.
He said he will be especially mindful of the budget when he offers the new person a job. The Hernando County attorney's budget for fiscal year 2013 is $586,241.
The vacant assistant county attorney position is being advertised with a salary range of $59,633 to $96,129. The application period ended Feb. 24.
Coller said he wants to get the person on board as soon as possible because the situation in the county legal office is in a "crisis" mode.
Coller and Senior Assistant County Attorney Jon Jouben are the only two lawyers in the office following the resignation of attorney Richard Appicello, who took a new job in Oregon last month.
Coller said cases are getting delayed or shunted aside because of the lean staff.
The majority of applicants hail from Florida and many from within the immediate region. They include: