Southampton appoints new county attorney

Published 4:20 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

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The Southampton County Board of Supervisors announced Monday, Sept. 11, the appointment of Eric A. Gregory as county attorney. 

A county news release noted that Gregory is a partner with the Richmond-based firm Hefty, Wiley & Gore, P.C. (HWG) and commenced his tenure as county attorney on Sept. 11. 

Gregory takes on the role previously held by the late Richard Edward Railey Jr., who passed away July 4. Railey was hired by the Board of Supervisors as its first part-time county attorney in 1988 and went on to serve in the position for 35 years.

The county news release stated that Hefty, Wiley & Gore was formed more than 25 years ago and is focused on representing Virginia local governments and political subdivisions. The firm serves as general counsel to numerous local and regional public entities across the commonwealth, including counties, cities, and towns, regional jail and detention authorities, planning district commissions, regional solid waste authorities and economic development authorities. 

Gregory joined HWG in January 2016, following 12 years of experience in state and local government law. He serves as the city attorney for the city of Emporia and represents a number of other local and regional governmental entities. Previously, he served as county attorney for King George County from 2013-20 and Powhatan County from 2011-13. 

Prior to entering local government representation, Gregory served as an assistant attorney general in the commonwealth’s Office of the Attorney General from 2004-11, ultimately serving on the attorney general’s senior staff. 

Prior to entering public service, Gregory practiced law for a private firm in Richmond, focusing on civil litigation. He provided comprehensive legal services to the firm’s local government and other clients, including services related to land use and zoning, contracts and procurement, human resources and employment, legislation and public policy, real estate transactions, compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and other areas. 

Gregory earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond. 

Central District Supervisor and Southampton County Board of Supervisors Chair Dr. Alan W. Edwards expressed excitement to have Gregory on board with the county. 

“We are looking forward to working with Eric on the various matters the county is facing,” Edwards said. “We anticipate him doing a great job for our county.” 

Southampton County Administrator Brian S. Thrower also shared enthusiasm regarding Gregory’s appointment. 

“We welcome Eric to the county team,” Thrower said. “Eric brings a vast amount of local government legal expertise to this position. I am honored to be working with him once again.” 

Gregory noted that he was looking forward to commencing his service with the county. 

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve the Board of Supervisors and Southampton County staff as county attorney,” he said. “I look forward to helping advance the county’s policies and initiatives, solve problems, and make Southampton County an even greater community in which to raise a family, live and work.”