The Highlands County Attorney’s Office was established in 2015. Joy Cook Carmichael serves as the County Attorney, the general counsel for the Board of County Commissioners. The County Attorney’s Office also includes an Assistant County Attorney, Matthew Cohen, and a Paralegal, Carolyn Durbin. The County Attorney’s Office provides legal counsel and advice to the Board of County Commissioners, the County Administrator, and County Departments, as well as the Supervisor of Elections and certain boards and agencies organized under the Board of County Commissioners. Legal services also include drafting and reviewing contracts, ordinances, resolutions, and legislation; handling legal aspects of real estate acquisitions and capital projects; advising county departments, municipal service benefit units, advisory boards and committees; and instituting and defending civil actions at all levels of State and Federal courts; and coordinating legal services in general.
The County Attorney is not legal counsel to the general public and may not advise individual citizens.