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The original item was published from 9/25/2015 2:31:14 PM to 10/10/2015 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: September 25, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Names County Attorney

The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors today announced the appointment of Ruth Ellen Kuhnel as County Attorney.

"We are privileged to have Ruth Ellen as our next County Attorney," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jason Peters. "She has represented the County on numerous legal matters over the years and has a wealth of experience with a broad range of issues facing local government today. In her time with the County, Ruth Ellen has provided valuable counsel to the administration, Board of Supervisors, and the County’s various departments."

Kuhnel has been serving as an Assistant County Attorney and Senior Assistant County Attorney for Roanoke County for the past eight years.

"We live in a thriving community which I am proud to serve," said Kuhnel. "I look forward to the opportunity to represent the Board of Supervisors and Roanoke County as a whole."

During her employment, Kuhnel has litigated both in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and the Circuit Court, representing Roanoke County and being a constant presence representing the Department of Social Services for five years. She moved into the role of primarily representing the Community Development Department which involves matters before the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, as well as every day land development issues. She has also worked closely with Parks, Recreation and Tourism on their property needs and General Services in leases, acquisitions and other real estate endeavors. Over the years, Kuhnel has also worked on human resources matters, Freedom of Information requests and conflict of interest questions.

Kuhnel assisted in regional projects such as the formation of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority, the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority, the revision to the Roanoke Valley Radio System, and the County’s new management role in Explore Park.

Kuhnel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and History, with a minor in Business from the University of Mississippi, and a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University School of Law. She has been a member of the Virginia State Bar since 1987 and is currently a member of the Local Government Attorneys Association.

Kuhnel has been active in the Roanoke Valley civic community for many years. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Virginia Blue Ridge Chapter of Susan G. Komen, is an Elder at Second Presbyterian Church, Past President of the Junior League of the Roanoke Valley, Past President of James Madison Middle School PTA, Past Board Member of the Council of Community Services, Past Board Member of Total Action Against Poverty (TAP), and a current member of the Mill Mountain Garden Club.

Kuhnel has been a resident of the Roanoke Valley since 1991. She and her husband, Paul C. Kuhnel, also a local attorney, have one child, currently in college.

Kuhnel will follow Paul Mahoney who has served as County Attorney for 31 years. Mahoney announced in June his intent to retire December 1.

Ruth Ellen Kuhnel will assume her new position December 1, 2015.

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