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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Assistant county attorney leaves after six months on job Departure puts office back into 'crisis,' boss says


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BROOKSVILLE - After six months on the job, Assistant County Attorney Shawn Amarnani has resigned and will take a similar job with the City of Tampa.

That leaves the Hernando County Attorney's Office shorthanded, with two lawyers: County Attorney Garth Coller and Deputy County Attorney Jon Jouben.

Coller said the situation in the county's legal office is again in "crisis" mode and that cases will be delayed or pushed aside because of the lean staff.

"We are obviously going to try and fill the position as fast as possible," Coller said.

Coller said if all goes well, he would like to have not only an Amarnani replacement on board in six months, but also a fourth open attorney position filled.

"The work load is so bad (that) we have to do something about it," Coller said.

Amarnani, in a prepared statement, said the short time he spent in Hernando was invaluable, and the new position was too good to pass up.

"It is hard to leave such a great group of people at the office but, at the end of the day, I need to do what is best for my family," he said.

Amarnani, who practices primarily land use and real estate law, will become the first attorney in eight years hired in a land use role for Tampa, the second-most populated municipality in Florida.

Amarnani, who now makes $60,000 a year in Hernando, will see his salary increase to $70,000 annually in Tampa.

"I have had an unbelievable time working for the Hernando County Attorney's Office," Amarnani said. "In the short time I have been here, I have absorbed a tremendous wealth of knowledge from both Garth Coller and Jon Jouben, who are both great attorneys. I also learned a lot from working with great professionals such as Assistant County Administrators Ronald Pianta and Brian Malmberg."

Amarnani was the attorney who sat in on Hernando County planning and zoning meetings.

"I will definitely carry a plethora of knowledge from this experience into my next career," he said.

Coller said Amarnani will be missed by the office's attorneys and staff.

"Shaun Amarnani brought leadership and energy to the county attorney's office," Coller said.

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