Friday, April 12, 2024

NHC appoints new county attorney to succeed Copley after retirement

Jordan Smith will succeed Wanda Copley as NHC’s attorney upon her retirement June 30. (Courtesy/NHC)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The county’s veteran attorney is retiring in June and commissioners have appointed her replacement this week.

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners announced Monday Jordan Smith would be named the new county attorney, following Wanda Copley’s retirement in three months. Copley is leaving her position after 39 years on the job. Smith will work alongside Copley starting May 2, until she leaves June 30.

“We are very excited to have Jordan bring his expertise to New Hanover County,” Commissioners Chair Bill Rivenbark said in a press release. “His familiarity with the laws of our state and his previous experience in county government made him the right choice to lead our legal team. We’re glad he has the opportunity to shadow Wanda for a couple months to get to know our community and our county’s operations. We look forward to his guidance in helping serve our citizens for years to come.”

Smith comes to New Hanover County after nearly a decade serving in Pitt County. He was hired in 2014 as the assistant county attorney and later promoted to deputy county attorney. He was named Pitt County’s attorney in January 2022.

A Davidson County native, Smith graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and went on to earn his master’s in public administration from N.C. State. He also received a law degree from Campbell Law School.

“I am thankful that the Board of Commissioners is placing its trust in me and giving me this great opportunity,” Smith said in the release. “I know I have big shoes to fill in succeeding Wanda Copley, but she has built a great team with a talented and knowledgeable staff. I look forward to working with them, the Board, County Manager Chris Coudriet, and all county departments and employees as we serve the citizens. My family and I are very excited about relocating to New Hanover County.”

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