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2019 News

County Solicitor Michael Klimpl Retires; Donald Williams Named Successor

January 4, 2019

Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County Solicitor Michael A. Klimpl, who served the county for almost four decades, including 34 years with the Solicitor’s Office, officially retired today.

Succeeding him will be Donald E. Williams, a longtime assistant county solicitor who was approved for the top job in December by the county commissioners. Klimpl

Klimpl, 71, joined the Solicitor’s Office as an assistant in 1984. He served under four county solicitors and 10 county commissioners before being named Solicitor in 2012.

Since then he has overseen all litigation brought by and against the county, and has provided counsel to its leaders on a broad swath of legal issues confronting county government – everything from contract law to personnel and labor questions.

“There’s a special relationship between a lawyer and a client,” Klimpl said at the commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday. “And the county, through its Board of Commissioners, is my client.”

Klimpl said he had been privileged to work with the commissioners, calling them “three very unique individuals, each with their own unique perspectives, working together for the benefit of the county.”

The commissioners and Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler responded in kind.

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to work with you,” Hessenthaler said. “When I think of you, a lot of words come to mind: integrity, humble, loyal, hardworking, dedicated … You’ve been a great partner to work with.”

Commissioners’ Chairman Robert G. Loughery praised Klimpl for providing clear-headed legal advice that always transcended partisan politics.

“Above all of that, you cared deeply for Bucks County, and that is what made you stand out,” Loughery said. “You have a lot of institutional knowledge, and you can’t put a price on that.”

His sentiments were echoed by Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia, who noted that Klimpl, a lifelong Democrat, had thrived within a county government long controlled by Republicans.

“It just goes to show that we can all be bipartisan,” she said. “We can all work together, and when people have the right spirit it doesn’t really matter what party it is. You have certainly shown that the law’s the law.”

Klimpl is a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School. He initially served the county as an attorney for the Bucks County Legal Aid Society and as an assistant public defender. He worked in commercial law in New York and long maintained a private practice in Bucks County, to which he will be returning.

“I’ll miss you all,” he said. “Goodbye, good luck, God bless.”

Donald Williams, 59, is a magna cum laude graduate of Millersville University, where he was an All-American cross country runner. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law.

He has served as a solicitor or assistant solicitor for numerous Bucks County municipalities, including New Hope Borough, the Warminster Township Zoning Hearing Board, Penndel Borough, Upper Southampton Township and Middletown Township.

Williams has served as an assistant solicitor for Bucks County since 2001.

“We have no doubt that Don will be able to pick up right where Michael has been,” Loughery said.